Women in demand to fill mining industry job vacancies on the west coast of Tasmania
From a report in The Advocate,
15 February 2007
There is a skills shortage in the mining industry on the west coast of Tasmania and women are in demand to fill jobs. Women are already earning about $70,000 a year driving mine equipment.
Zinifex Rosebery mine manager Fran Burgess said that leading minerals companies wanted women because they were skilled and gentler on equipment. “They keep trucks cleaner, have a softer touch on the gears and expensive tyres last longer,” she said.
Three years into the top job at Zinifex Rosebery, Ms Burgess is urging women to apply for positions. “The mining industry is booming,” she said. “We already have a lady truck driver, two female mine engineers and a lady geologist.”
A study has found that the minerals sector will need 70,000 additional employees in Australia by the year 2015. More than 3,500 women have started work on mine sites over the past three years and 18% of the mining workforce are women. Ms Burgess predicts that in the next ten years 50% of the mining workforce will need to be women.
A separate report shows that Tasmania is attractive to miners because workers can live relatively close to the mines. Many sites on the mainland require workers to fly in and out and to work for eight to ten days at a stretch.