The 2022 Outlook for Mining Jobs in WA

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The 2022 Outlook for Mining Jobs in WA

As we begin to come out the other side of the pandemic, it’s time to check in with the state of our industry and to look to the future of mining jobs in WA.

Mining Investment Set to Grow in 2022

The mining sector plays a crucial role in Australia’s economy and an even more critical role in Australia’s fiscal recovery after the pandemic.

The Federal Government’s 2021-22 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook Report predicts that investment in the mining sector will grow by 8% in 2022-23.

This growth is driven by iron ore, coal and liquified natural gas exports, as prices reached record heights in 2021.

Increasing & Improving Interactions with Australia’s Traditional Owners

The Western Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy Director for Policy and Advocacy, Rob Carruthers, reported that he has observed companies “taking real care in the way they manage interactions with Australian Traditional Owners.”

“We’re seeing a lifting of all boats on the tide in consultation with communities and Traditional Owners to make sure the benefits are spread from new mining activities.”

Essentially, we are seeing much more of a concerted effort to improve communication with host communities and an increase in investment in host communities from the industry. This trend is set to continue throughout 2022.

“Blue Skies in 2022” for Mining

There is a sense of optimism running through the sector when looking towards the future. As demonstrated in National Mining Leader of PwC, Debbie Smith’s recent comment to Australian Mining Magazine:

“Notwithstanding the pandemic with its lockdowns and closed borders, the mining sector was able to overcome things no one could have expected, and it gives me hope for blue skies in 2022.”

Skilled Labour Shortages in WA

Due to international and interstate border restrictions, the Western Australian mining industry faces a severe shortage of skilled labour. This is set to peak in 2022, with a shortage of 33,000 workers.

WA traditionally calls on international workers to provide highly specialised trades. However, with the border closures and the WA government’s tendency to constantly move the goalposts, bringing in people for these positions from overseas has proved much more difficult, if not impossible.

Therefore, many organisations find that roles such as mine geologists, engineers, surveyors and metallurgists are particularly challenging to fill.

What does this mean for mining jobs in WA?

Those in the industry with highly valued skills will have more negotiating power than ever. Employers are willing to provide more flexibility and higher rates to draw talent.

Essentially, skilled labour is in high demand in WA. Therefore, contract mining jobs in WA are an excellent option to make the most of the market’s competitive nature.

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