Ground work


AN AUSTRALIAN company is in Ireland looking to hire sales representatives to place “thousands and thousands” of Irish tradespeople in mining companies based in Queensland.

Jeff Bradtke, managing director of Queensland-based recruitment and training firm Workforce Solutions Queensland, is in Dublin to recruit six sales representatives who will then look to get orders of Irish people” from Australian-based mining companies on the basis that the country is facing a severe skills shortage.

They will then fill these orders by hiring Irish people to take up the positions, and can expect to earn €10,000 per placement.

The Australian newspaper recently estimated that the country will need 800,000 workers over the next five years, and according to Mr Bradtke, a quarter or 200,000 of these will be tradespeople.

He sees demand for skilled workers in the metal trade, including fitters, mechanics, boiler-makers, and welders, with Mr Bradtke putting potential earnings at a “conservative” $2,000-$3,000 (€1,600-€2,500) a week.

“It’s an enormous opportunity,” he said.

Workforce Solutions sees itself as being well-placed to work in the space as five years ago it signed an agreement with the Australian department of immigration to allow it hire overseas employees directly.

This means it can hire temporary skilled overseas workers under a section 457 visa scheme, with mining companies such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton then employing Irish workers on a contract basis up to four years.

Irish workers are attractive to Australian-based mining companies because of attributes such as speaking the same language and work ethic.”Our research has shown us that the Irish attitude is more compatible with Australians,” Mr Bradtke said.