Published on April 27th, 2012 | by john.weir10
Rio Tinto launch massive recruitment drive in Australia
Mining company Rio Tinto will today begin a push to recruit more than 6,000 workers to it sites across Australia.
The company says it wants to increase the size of its Pilbara workforce in Western Australia, where it already employs 10,000 people, by at least 50 per cent in the next few years.
Rio Tinto spokesman Bruce Tobin says a recruitment campaign featuring Olympic sports stars Libby Trickett, Steve Hooker and Drew Ginn will be launched in April.
“Rio Tinto has launched one of the Australia’s biggest ever recruitment campaigns and we’re looking to attract thousands of new employees to work across our 30 operations around Australia,” he said.
“We’re probably looking for around 6,000 people, but the bulk of those would be working in our operations in WA.”
However, Master Builders Association spokesman Gavan Forster says Rio’s campaign is a mixed blessing.
Mr Forster says Rio Tinto will be poaching workers from other industries.
“The usual source is the building industry, then it means the price of labour’s going to rise and housing and building costs will rise,” he said.
“The construction industry has been poaching workers from the building industry and it’s the building industry that trains the carpenters and plumbers and so on and then they go to the mining industry and there’s no contribution to that training from the mining industry.
“We are arguing to the State Government that the construction industry should pay its fair share towards training, just like the building industry does.”
The West Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the federal government must allow more skilled migrants into the state to meet the worker shortage.
The Chamber’s James Pearson says increasing migrant numbers will reduce workers being poached from other industries such as the building trade.
“Well there is no doubt that there are knock-on effects from the increasing demand for workers in the resources industry,” he said.
“That’s why we’ve been pressing so hard for the federal government to increase the migrant intake into Western Australia and help companies like Rio and others get access to the workforce they need.”
Rio Tinto’s advertising campaign is expected to run for four months.
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