West Aussie metal trades feel invisible and ignored when applying for work
If you're a metalworker in Perth, Fremantle or across Western Australia, you'll know that right now is not a great time to find yourself out and about looking for work.
Many welders, pipefitters and more are sending out lots of applications every single week but yet are often not hearing back from almost any of the employers they contact.
Here, we'll take a look at the problem and share some tips on how to make sure you don't feel invisible as a metalworker when looking for work in Western Australia.
The problem - not enough jobs
At its core, the problem is one of a surplus of metalworkers and not enough jobs. When employers have too many applications and too few positions to fill, the unfortunate consequence is that you find yourself left ignored.
In some ways, this is more due to the state of the wider economy than anything specific to metalwork. At the end of 2017, Western Australia had a general unemployment rate of 5.7% - although that was lower than previous monthly highs during the year.
But since the problems began in earnest a few years ago, industry leaders in the steel sector have voiced concerns about how the problems are affecting metalworkers in particular. James England, the Western Australia manager of the Australian Steel Institute, was touring a shed at a steel fabrication company when he remarked to ABC News that there weren't many welders on site. "I've been here when the workers were almost falling over each to do the work and now it's half empty," he said.
Positive news on the horizon
What's clear, then, is that everyone from boilermakers to pipefitters are finding themselves struggling a little when it comes to getting some work.
But there's good news coming out of companies and unions here and there. The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union recently informed its members of a large FIFO (fly-in, fly-out) project out in Darwin seeking qualified sheet metal workers, for example.
More locally, boilermakers have been in demand by companies like Civmec, who operate a project two hundred kilometres east of Laverton and offer flights from Perth.
Building your skills and profile
Knowing that there are jobs out there can bring a little comfort, though, when it seems like your job applications are all getting ignored. But there are ways to make sure this happens less and less often.
The internet is opening up opportunities to find work left, right and centre. All you need to do is make sure that you're checking the right sites and that you're showcasing your skills in the right way, then you're good to go.
It's wise, for example, to keep a detailed record of everything you've done in past jobs so that potential employers can see very clearly what you can offer. Did you take on extra responsibility at a project site when your team was one person short, for example? Or did you study for a qualification, such as one from the Welding Technology Institute of Australia, when you first started out?
If so, you need to make sure that you are making the most of these selling points. Ensure that you have a CV or other document which clearly lists your achievements, and which is typed up and spellchecked.
It may seem like a waste of time or even arrogant, but it's not - promoting your own achievements will get you ahead of the competition and help secure your place on that next big project.
If you're struggling to find jobs in metalwork, we've got even more good news. Here at GotSkill, we've built a platform that's just right for your needs, allowing you to easily connect with potential employers.
When you build your profile on GotSkill, you get a URL of your very own and the chance to show off your experience, skills and even work photos through our app. Sign up today to find out more about how GotSkill can help you get metalwork gigs in Perth and beyond.