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Resources recruitment slump

RECRUITMENT companies servicing the resource sector are “a bit flat”, says TR Technical Support general manager Des Linehan.

“The resource sector is experiencing a downturn and this can be attributed to many things including low commodity prices worldwide, the Asian economic crisis and the value of the Aussie dollar,” he said.

“Nickel is pretty average at present and gold has also dropped. There have been 17 mines closed in WA in the past three years.

“Many major projects are now complete and, while there are a few major projects on the horizon, most are waiting for world markets to improve before going ahead.”

As a result, many engineers and drafters were sitting on their hands. Mr Linehan said recruitment companies in the resource area had been experiencing cuts in turnover over the last six to twelve months.

With regards to the much-hyped IT staff shortage, he said programmers such as C++ specialists were the hardest positions to fill.

“From our perspective, most of the IT support staff we provide are usually either one of two categories: lower-level assistance such as help desk staff and those dealing with network systems to very high-level software development engineers,” he said.

“These upper-level people were often engineers in a non-IT context, but later ‘cross-pollinated’ simply because there was a strong need for software programmers.

“The big push for Y2K auditing has made the market concentrate on these types of service since the beginning of 1998,” he said.

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