Five years ago, the mining boom went to a standstill in Australia, and in Western Australia, things are now looking up again, along with the rest of the country.
Recent surveys suggest that Kalgoorlie-Boulder requires more than 1500 workers in the area to fill all the vacant jobs. The roles, ranging from mining to local hospitality, tourism and childcare, are widespread in the region, and hard to fill.
There are many reasons in which the roles can’t be filled, ranging from the restrictions set on temporary working visas, to high costs of living in the area. Australia’s migration rules have been squeezed to a point where they are now restricting industry. In mining and drilling alike, it is becoming more difficult to find skill-based employees due to the tightened restrictions. Although the changes were brought in to ensure companies advertise locally first for skilled personnel, there is still a massive gap in the skill-based roles due to the changes, and a lack of Australian based employees.
Even though the mining region famous for the iconic Super Pit is booming, thanks to strong gold prices and a rebirth of the local nickel industry. With major production increases and new mines set to open in both uranium and lithium markets, employers in all industries are struggling to find staff.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder has a population of around 30,000 people, and the mining production it is already predicted to intensify in the coming years, thanks to a global increase in lithium needs for batteries. But without employees to keep businesses running, the future boom could be short-lived.