WarforTalentThe scarcest resource of allHuman resources issues and shortages in the resources sector
The scarcest resource of allHuman resources issues and shortages in the Australian resources market
ContentsIntroduction p 2Our capabilities and services p 7Appendix p 11Our team A shortage of appropriately skilled workers, an ageing population and a changing industrial relations landscape are just some of the human resources challenges we face. This booklet explores talent-related challenges in the resources industry and explores solutions for the future.
p 2 | PricewaterhouseCoopersThe skills squeezeWorkforce shortages are by no means unique to Australia or to the resources sector. Many industries are experiencing similar workforce shortages across the world. It’s a competitive, global market for skills and people at all levels. The scarce number of skilled workers is particularly acute in the resources sector precisely because it is booming. The soaring demand in the resources field and declining workforce growth are working together to starve the industry of the people it needs Led by excellent results from the resources sector, the Australian economy has experienced low inflation and unemployment, as well as strong economic growth and rising commodity prices over the past year. In this climate, capacity constraints have become more evident, and employers are reporting an inability to recruit and retain skilled labour. The Australian government’s Skilled Vacancies Index, which records Australian occupational shortages, reached a decade-long high in 2004. Growth in the Australian labour force has been steadily slowing since the 1970s. In 2008, for the first time in the country’s history, more people will be leaving the workforce than entering it. Workforce shrinkage and the skills shortage are likely to be the most powerful forces changing the face of the Australian workplace. The tight labour market, combined with changes in industrial relations legislation, are giving individuals an unprecedented ability to bargain with their employers on a one-on-one basis, rather than through the unionised or collective bargaining model that has been dominant in Australia since the 1950s. The balance shifts toward the individual Since coming to power in 1996, the current Australian government has implemented a succession of workplace reforms. In May 2005, Prime Minister John Howard unveiled his most wide-reaching reform package to date, which aims to create greater flexibility and choice for employers and employees. Since July 2005, the government has held the balance of power in both the upper and lower houses of the Australian Parliament, and so is able to pass legislation in line with its reform agenda.