Recruitment specialist Hays has released its January to March quarterly report into labour and skills demand, examining the ‘current hotspots of recruitment activity and trends’.


The report found that January through to March will see a significant rise in the number of transmission and distribution projects commencing production, which will inturn generate demand for both office and site expertise.


“With significant transmission and distribution projects awarded, we expect to see engineering companies increase their headcount to complete the design and construction phases,” the report found.


The report anticipates the following skills will experience the highest demand levels:

  • Distribution Design Engineers,
  • Distribution Drafters, Mechanical Engineers,
  • Asset Maintenance Engineers and Electrical Linesmen/women


“Project Managers are in particular demand in South Australia. With employers unwilling to look at candidates from other industries, there is a shortage of candidates with local power system expertise,” the report found.


The report also found that employers are beginning to become more open minded to sourcing overseas labour, with companies becoming more likely to offer relocation assistance and sponsorship.


Hays has also found an increase in high intensity training being used to bring junior employees up to speed more quickly.


Companies are expected to commence a period of high intensity hiring, with seasonal job vacancy driving an immediate drive for demand. High demand for energy professionals is likely to drive salaries as employers seek to find and secure high end candidates.


The report finds an obvious emerging undersupply of qualified engineers and tradespersons, driving employers to improve overall working conditions and pay.


“Those with a renewable energy background are keeping a close eye on the market with the intention of applying to those organisations that begin constructing wind farms first. Once construction starts we expect to see a lot of candidates moving within the renewable industry,” the report concludes.


The full report can be found here