Demand for new operators remains high
MORE than one quarter of machinery operators are in their 50s and approaching retirement, ensuring demand for new operators will remain high.
So says the Kinetic Group 2012 Heartbeat Report, the organisation's annual workforce review.
The report found that more than 25% of current operators are over the age of 50 and will soon be eligible to retire.
As an occupation with growing demand this is paving the way for a younger generation of workers to enter the industry.
Training as a machinery operator is relatively easy with a number of providers delivering the courses on a weekly basis, according to Phil Noble, operations manager of Site Skills Training's Sunshine Coast facility.
"The only training requirement for Machinery Operators other than their relevant machinery competency is a White Card for civil construction or the Generic Induction for Mining to enter a mine site," Mr Noble said.
He said employers are continuously seeking skilled machinery operators - those who are safety conscious, always aware of their surroundings, have a keen eye for detail and are gentle on machines controls.
Site Skills Training, who operate two training facilities in Queensland and also in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, run weekly operator courses for individuals and regularly on-site for employer groups.
"Outside of mining, we see a lot of demand in road and earth works activities for operating road rollers, bobcats, trucks and 4WDs, front end loaders, excavators and bulldozers which all require training for competency," Mr Noble said.
The Kinetic Group report also found that the female portion of the workforce in machinery operator positions is higher than the industry average for other operational staff groups.
Mandy Lutteral, operations manager for Site Skills Training's Gladstone facility, said it's good to see more women getting involved with industry.
"A lot of companies are facing challenges with skills shortages and they have actively recognised that doing more to entice and recruit female operators is one solution," she said.
"There is so much opportunity out there for women and men, and a lot of people don't realise it can be as little as a three day course to be qualified to start operating these machines."
For more information about training opportunities with Site Skills Training, visit the website at siteskillstraining.com.au or call 1300 562 754 557.