WA digs for money over jobs
Western Australia’s resources sector workforce will be smashed over the coming decade, as companies cut costs during production and increase FIFO staff arrangements.
According to the new WA Resources Sector Outlook 2015 – 2025, the number of people employed by mining in Western Australia will slide by nearly 20 per cent in a decade, down from 105,200 at present to around 87,000 workers in 2025.
“The sector is now largely in the operational phase as previously forecast,” the report said.
“This will see a further decline in the overall workforce, particularly construction.”
About 17,300 of the jobs lost will be from mining construction, but that fall is expected to be slightly offset by growth in operational staff of around 4,300 new workers by 2019.
But the operational workforce will be eroded soon after, with as many as 800 redundancies the following year, authorities predict.
The resource sector will remain a significant source of employment in WA, still employing twice as many people as it did before the current flood of Chinese money began in 2004.
“FIFO will continue to be an attractive workforce model, providing choice for employees,” said the report.
“FIFO work arrangements must be supported by governments, and resources sector companies must continue to engage with communities to demonstrate the opportunities these arrangements provide.”
The report is compiled by advisors at Deloitte Access Economics for the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME), a resource industry lobby.