Over the past few years a dry spell was witnessed in the recruitment of skilled laborers in Perth, mainly due to a lack of jobs in the mining construction equipment department. These reports from Western Australia, show that an electrician in Perth, or an engineer from Perth, would be more likely to move into the construction industry. But nevertheless, mining construction companies like WesTrac are recruiting new skilled laborers for apprenticeships, and there has been a sharp rise in the numbers, signifying a possible resurgence in the industry. To be precise, the WesTrac Training Institute now supports approximately 250 apprentices, a whopping 30% increase since 2015-16.
Although 250 may seem like a large number, it is still only a meager 60% of the peak attained in 2013, when approximately 420 apprentices were in place. Mr Croome, the chief executive of WesTrac, notes that although there are around 40 new jobs being created each month for mechanics, boilermakers, and electrician in Perth, they’re taking longer to fill in than expected.
This fall in skilled laborers could be due to another factor, and that is the increasing automation of machines. What once was done manually by skilled laborers is now being done by automated machines. There is both a pro and a con that can be observed from this scenario. The con is that the jobs of skilled laborers such as electricians and mechanics is being stolen away by these machines. But the pro here is that these automated machines will provide jobs for a different category of people. People who can service these automated machines, and who can program these machines will become sought after. That is why the WesTrac Training Institute is now shifting its focus from training apprentices for mechanical and electrical jobs to dual-trade programs, wherein apprentices can now specialise in either the technology-related aspect of these machines or in the service-related aspect of these machines.
With statements coming from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, stating that the nation has created almost 307000 jobs in the last 12 months, the economy is bound to improve and provide more jobs for skilled technicians everywhere.