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The Forum > Article Comments > Growth in mining hampered by a lack of geoscientists > Comments

Growth in mining hampered by a lack of geoscientists : Comments

By Gregory Webb, published 7/12/2006

The skills crisis in the geosciences may be jeopardising Australiaís future sustainable development.

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Where has the author been for the last ten years,obviously buried in academia.
To describe a salary of $55,000 to $100,000 as incredibily high.
Highlights why we do not have the skills needed to cope with the current mineral boom.
Most tradesmen would need a minimum of $100,000 to survive.
If they were sent to an outback mining camp you can add free accomodation,flying into and out of camp every fortnight to visit their families,plus clothing and food.
A cook on a mining site,gets a minimum $100,000.
Thanks to the Union movement,young Australians are still being given the opportunity to benefit from the mineral boom.
The lack of skills is a great excuse to employ underpaid Asian graduates to do jobs that Australian graduates have given a miss.
Aussie expat graduates command $US250,000 in the middle east Tax Free. They use their brains to earn a decent honest income. .
Posted by BROCK, Thursday, 7 December 2006 1:33:24 PM
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"Aussie expat graduates command $US250,000 in the middle east Tax Free. They use their brains to earn a decent honest income. ."

The middle east is just a little bit more remote than the Australian outback. The work is the SAME.
Posted by Steel, Thursday, 7 December 2006 7:35:09 PM
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The Myth of the Great Man Shortage strikes again.

In my youth nightspots were dominated by teenage drama queens who would regularly howl on one anotherís shoulders about, a man shortage, when the front door of their favorite nightspot was teeming with unattached men.

Inside a few guys would ask them for a dance and would normally be rejected, often very loudly and abusively often drawing the attention of the bouncers. Approaching these drama queens was a risky business.

And, at the nights end, these same girls would stagger out, in a disheveled group, weeping, crying real tears, because none of the guys had danced with them.

But , even then, only one in a thousand ever realized that the man shortage was the shortage that their own behavior had created.

Itís thus with a mixture of ironic amusement and extreme annoyance that I see the same thing happening in Australiaís expanding mining industry.

The same phony man shortage, the same behavior by a whole new generation of drama queens.

But these drama queens are not young females. They are mid aged, male, mine managers.

But the behavior remains exactly the same.

Itís the same mindless prattling about man shortages and itís still pulling the sympathetic ear of the TV stations. Itís rejecting the men on some petty or imagined fault. Itís treating the men that they already have like dirt. And itís drama queens who do this because they can. Because, in fact there is no man shortage at all.

Thats why when I put in my usual job applications (over two thousand in the past two years) they are routinely rejected without looking twice at me.

The teen queens created their own, genuine , man shortage, by rejecting most of the men and treating the rest like dirt. In the new, and vital, grown area, of mining, in this new generation of drama queens on the verge of creating a new, and genuine staff shortage by rejecting applications and underpaying those that they already have.
Posted by sparticusss, Friday, 8 December 2006 8:47:40 AM
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Back in the 19th century and earlier, farmers realised that if they didn't feed their workhorses through the winter, they wouldn't have them in the spring when they needed them. When I did a science degree in the 1980s there were geologists in the class who were retraining to be high school science teachers because a cyclical downturn in the mining industry had seen them thrown out of those well-paying jobs. A secure income is more important to most people than a large income today and maybe none at all tomorrow.
Posted by Divergence, Friday, 8 December 2006 1:10:02 PM
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I was an exploration geologist for 3 years. There are a number of reasons I got out of the industry and they include:
-Cyclicity of industry
-2-3 years in a remote area and then moved again - not good for families
-Career path often entails ending up in a glass/steel tower in a capital city with an unaffordable mortgage, a cheesed off (ex)wife and kids that've been to half a dozen different schools
-Blokey/macho hard living/playing culture

Perhaps it just wasn't for me but all those things just didn't add up.
Posted by nathand, Friday, 8 December 2006 1:32:54 PM
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Hmmm.. So how can we other professional types in the oversupplied skills departments make the move in our lives without regressing to a teenage income?
Posted by savoir68, Monday, 11 December 2006 6:21:28 AM
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