The manufacturing skills in demand this quarter


Recruiting expert Hays has released its latest quarterly report on employment trends in Australian industries.

According to the report, Australia’s manufacturing market was active last quarter, with employers steadily recruiting. This is expected to remain the case this quarter. While many manufacturers continue to move offshore, others are investing in new factories or installing additional lines.

Moreover, non-permanent roles with fixed-term contracts remain manufacturers’ preference.

According to Hays, skilled candidates are in demand and short supply in many locations. As a result, employers remain open to considering senior professionals from interstate.

In localised trends, Victoria is still seeing high vacancies in the heavy vehicle industry, including trucks, trailers, tankers, municipal equipment and caravans.

In Western Australia, there is still a shortage of engineering and production managers in remote locations, especially in the agriculture industry. There also remains a shortage of candidates in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) production since east coast salaries are higher and have attracted candidates away from the west.

Skills in demand

The skills in demand remain steady quarter-on-quarter, according to Hays.

Production managers: Demand for production managers remains high because regardless of whether a company manufactures in Australia or not, its products must still be efficiently assembled and delivered to customers on time and within budget. Employers want candidates with a mix of technical and soft people management skills and a focus on improving processes.

Operations managers: Operations managers also remain in demand. Employers are very specific and prefer candidates with experience in a similar industry.

Engineering managers: Engineering managers are sought after in response to continuous improvement measures within older plants.

Maintenance/reliability managers: Maintenance and reliability managers are also in demand. More companies want to increase their site reliability through planned maintenance. They want highly skilled professionals with a degree and the right attitude to implementing culture change across sites that have always done things a certain way.

Planners: Planners are required to control efficiency and inventory levels and reduce costs.

Food and packaging technologists: Food and packaging technologists remain in demand. Given the lack of candidate movement in this area, available candidates with a degree and experience developing specific products are highly sought after.

Dual trade technicians: Dual trade technicians are also required. Employers are looking for one candidate who is capable of completing two sets of duties. For instance, a trade qualified electrician and fitter. Most organisations are heading in this direction to cut costs.

Maintenance fitters: Maintenance fitters with a dual trade are sought after as organisations manage their headcount and costs.

New product development (NPD) managers: NPD managers with both technical and managerial skills are in short supply but demand continues to remain high.

Shift production manager: Shift production managers are needed in the beverage industry, however there are few candidates with this exact industry experience.

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