With global news remaining relatively bleak it feels strange to say that in Australia things are potentially looking up. Numbers of new cases have dropped substantially over recent weeks with total confirmed cases across Australia beginning to flatten out.
This is particularly positive for a rapidly evolving situation such as this one however, it is unclear how things will unfold in the coming months.
As motivation begins to waver throughout the mining community with social distancing restrictions in place and working from home rotations being implemented by several companies, I am going to focus on some of the positives throughout the market.
Health & Safety
The Australian mining sector prides itself on world-leading safety measures and have adapted exceptionally to the implementation of new and improved measures to combat the Covid-19 outbreak.
Nothing can say this more than the fact there has been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 on any mine site to date (that I am aware of).
The effectiveness of screening processes being used for workers returning to site has been strong as any potential cases have been identified and double checked to allow for no errors and minimise any further risk to fellow staff and the community.
In the beginning it was certainly a massive transition to implement all procedures which are being reviewed daily however, I believe that companies and their employees have accommodated exceptionally well therefore doing their part to contribute to the slowing number of new and total cases.
After speaking with a number of clients over recent weeks it’s positive to hear that production hasn’t been overly affected with the current circumstance.
Initially, several saw a drop in production rates as companies and their staff adjusted to new protocols and restrictions however, production has slowly returned close, if not back to normal and remained relatively steady.
Some sites have even seen an increase in production as staff have had to cancel leave or have remained onsite to avoid the need for quarantine after travelling to and from site (or just to keep working so no to be bored being stuck in the house like me right now as I write this slowly beginning to crack).
With new rosters and rotations in effect allowing workers to fulfil their duties onsite and still help carry the workload from home, could this be a new industry norm?
Whenever there is a decline in the industry or widespread uncertainty like we find today, it is typical to find job opportunities being pulled or put on hold.
Although we have found a number of positions being put on the back-burner it is positive to see that companies are still looking to on-board certain roles or fulfil critical needs.
Even if the interview process has altered, with site visits and the ability to start onsite proving difficult to orchestrate, we find companies adapting to avoid such issues and conducting most interviews either over phone or video and even commencing people working from home or simply pushing out the start date to when restrictions will hopefully be lifted.
This is significant to keep employment rates from plummeting and allowing companies to bring on the talented individuals needed to push them through the current uncertainty that surrounds us at present.
Yes, we are rightly concerned about the safety and wellbeing of ourselves, our families, and our communities but certainly there is a lot of positives throughout Australia and especially it’s mining industry.
As we all know, this situation is unpredictable and just as it can turn swiftly for the worst, it could also do the same in the other direction.
All I can say is from the conversations I am having with clients and candidates daily; I believe Queensland’s mining industry is slowly moving in the right direction and I hope we continue to do so going forward.