Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
 

The latest Australian geoscientist employment update is open for contributions until this Saturday

Please take two minutes to share your employment experience and encourage your friends and colleagues to contribute.  

Contributions to the latest Australian geoscientist employment survey close 24th October 2020.

The second quarter 2020 employment survey, conducted in June, provided a first look at how Australian geoscience, particularly mineral exploration and mining, was being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in Australia. 


Geoscientist unemployment fell in Australia during the second quarter of 2020, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

The slight improvement in employment conditions evident from the results of the first quarter survey for 2020 was unexpected.  This was interpreted as a sign that companies were seeking to retain staff and continuity of exploration programs and mining operations.  Since then, Victoria has experienced a second, more serious wave of infections resulting in renewed, strict limits on business activity and mobility of staff between states.  International travel remains out of the question for many Australians.  How was geoscience employment affected? 

We have added a question to this survey relating to where you work relative to where you completed your highest degree.  A debate is emerging around whether Australia needs to be more self-sufficient in meeting geoscience skills needs in all areas of work, which new data is needed to address.

The survey typically takes only two or three minutes to complete.  You do not need to be an AIG member to contribute.  No data that could personally identify respondents is collected.  Contributions to the survey are sought from both employed and unemployed geoscientists to ensure the relevance of results.  Your completing the survey really helps to make a difference to the standing and knowledge of our profession.

Every contribution adds to the reliability of the survey results. Sincere thanks in advance for your continued support of the survey series.

Click here to complete the survey.

The latest Australian geoscientist employment survey is open for contributions until 24th October 2020.

The second quarter 2020 employment survey, conducted in June, provided a first look at how Australian geoscience, particularly mineral exploration and mining, was being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in Australia. 

Geoscientist unemployment in Australia
Geoscientist unemployment and under-employment in Australia 2009-2020

The slight improvement in employment conditions evident from the results of the first quarter survey for 2020 was unexpected.  This was interpreted as a sign that companies were seeking to retain staff and continuity of exploration programs and mining operations.  Since then, Victoria has experienced a second, more serious wave of infections resulting in renewed, strict limits on business activity and mobility of staff between states.  International travel remains out of the question for many Australians.  How was geoscience employment affected? 

We have added a question to this survey relating to where you work relative to where you completed your highest degree.  A debate is emerging around whether Australia needs to be more self-sufficient in meeting geoscience skills needs in all areas of work, which new data is needed to address.

The survey typically takes only two or three minutes to complete.  You do not need to be an AIG member to contribute.  No data that could personally identify respondents is collected.  Contributions to the survey are sought from both employed and unemployed geoscientists to ensure the relevance of results.  Your completing the survey really helps to make a difference to the standing and knowledge of our profession.

The survey will be open for contributions until 24 October 2020.  Every contribution adds to the reliability of the survey results. Sincere thanks in advance for your continued support of the survey series.

Click here to complete the survey.

Brisbane-based member, Doug Brewster, has commenced monitoring advertisements for geoscientist roles on Seek.com to help better understand employment trends affecting our profession.

On 3 August 2020, Western Australia had the greatest number of vacancies (accounting for 24 of 29 exploration and mining geology positions advertised on Seek).

Exploration and mining geoscientist jobs – 3 Aug 2020

Available jobs were split evenly between exploration and mining positions.

By comparison, 87 mining engineer roles were being advertised, with Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales dominating.

Mining engineer jobs – 3 Aug 2020S

Sincere thanks to Doug for compiling this information that will, hopefully, become a regular news feature on the AIG web site.

Australian mineral exploration statistics released today contain some positive news.

Mineral exploration expenditure, in real terms, rose 11.9% ($72.7m) to $683.3m in the June quarter 2020. Brownfield exploration expenditure rose 17.5% ($67.5m) while greenfield exploration expenditure rose 2.4% ($5.3m).

ABS mineral exploration expenditure, June 2012-June 2020

Seasonally adjusted expenditure was less positive, falling 6.8% (-$48.3m) to $665.0m in the June quarter 2020. The largest contributor to the fall this quarter was Western Australia (down 7.8%, -$33.3m).

Exploration drilling metres drilled rose 10.8%. Drilling on greenfield targets rose 5.6% and brownfield drilling metres rose 13.7%. Again, the seasonally adjusted figures fell 13.2% in the June quarter.

The real increases in both brownfield and greenfield exploration expenditure and exploration drilling are seen as having positive implications for geoscientist employment in the exploration sector. The June quarter Australian geoscientist employment survey results, released during August, confirmed this with the unemployment rate recorded by the survey improving from 10% and the end of March 2020, to 8.6% at the end of June. More than three-quarters of Australia’s geoscientists work in mineral exploration and mining.

The next Australian geoscientist employment survey will launch 30 September.

Brisbane, 12th August 2020

Geoscientist employment in Australia improved in the second quarter of 2020.  Nationally, unemployment decreased to 8.6% from 10% in the March quarter, while underemployment also fell to 17.4% from 18.1% for the period.

Geoscientist unemployment and underemployment in Australia June 2009 – June 2020

AIG President, Andrew Waltho, described the improvement as most welcome.  “The level of improvement observed in the survey results was small but defied the increase in unemployment observed in the Australian community as a whole, and the sharp downturn in economic activity affecting Australia’s economy” Mr Waltho said.  “Some caution is needed with the improvement recorded only representing half of the increase observed during the first quarter of this year, but any improvement under the economic conditions prevailing in Australia at the moment is both welcome and encouraging” Mr Waltho said.

“With more than three-quarters of Australia’s geoscientists working in exploration and mining, the results point to the absolute importance of our mineral resource industries in helping to maintain economic activity in Australia, even while in recession” Mr Waltho said.  

“This quarter is also the first time since the 2011 minerals boom that geoscientist unemployment has fallen below the unemployment rate for the Australian economy as a whole, pointing to the success of efforts being made to ensure business continuity and resilience during the pandemic” Mr Waltho said.  

“It is very encouraging to see mining and exploration activity continuing across Australia under very difficult conditions” Mr Waltho said.

Employment impacts varied between states.  Unemployment amongst geoscientists fell in Western Australia, but increased slightly in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT, and Victoria.  Underemployment fell in Western Australia, New South Wales and ACT, and Victoria, and remained little changed in Queensland from the previous quarter.

Unemployment and underemployment by state – June 2020

A high proportion of self-employed geoscientists, however, continued to experience difficulty securing more than a quarter of their desired workload.

Long term unemployment remained stubbornly high, with almost 34% of unemployed geoscientists reporting having been out of work for more than 12 months, including 22% who have been out of work for more than two years.  Some 40% of unemployed geoscientists were not confident of returning to work within the next 12 months.

“Long-term unemployment continues to be of serious concern” Mr Waltho said.  

“AIG,  other professional associations and industry groups including CSIRO have responded positively to the challenges posed by the pandemic and the need to suppress the coronavirus through limiting gatherings of people by moving quickly to delivering professional development talks, seminars and short-courses on-line, allowing members to continue to develop their careers from home” Mr Waltho said.  

“These have included many talks and seminars delivered at no cost to participants in an effort to provide members with accessible and valuable professional development opportunities, essential to maintain members’ skills and motivation” Mr Waltho said.  

“In many ways, access to continued professional development opportunities has improved significantly, with events previously available only in particular cities or states accessible nationally, and by members overseas” Mr Waltho said.  

“Professional associations are learning things in response to the pandemic that will become part of the way in which they engage with members on an ongoing basis, to the benefit of all” Mr Waltho said.  

“A recent success has been delivery of structured training on public reporting of exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves in compliance with the JORC Code which sets out minimum standards for this in Australia and New Zealand and is used as a model in many countries throughout the world”.  

“The short course was originally developed for face to face delivery but has been adapted to become a very successful and effective on-line offering that has attracted attendees from a number of overseas countries and professionals from non-geoscience fields such as banking and finance and investors to whom mineral resources and reserves are relevant to their work and future” Mr Waltho said.  

“It has been both gratifying and encouraging to receive extremely positive feedback from participants that will contribute to continuous improvement of the course”.  

“AIG is always looking at ways of improving benefits of membership to professional geoscientists globally” Mr Waltho said.

An excellent response to the survey was received nationally, with 508 geoscientists completing the survey. Responses from geoscientists in South Australia fell, however, preventing state employment and underemployment results from being reported.

The next survey will be conducted at the end of September.  All contributors, especially AIG members, are thanked for their ongoing support.