Bleak outlook for resources contractor jobs: survey

The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) survey of 118 mining companies found 55% of respondents said they were likely to reduce staff numbers while a further 21% said job cuts were a possibility, Dow Jones newswires reported.Some 15% said staffing cuts were unlikely and the remaining 9% were unsure, the report said.The admission comes amid declining commodity prices and softening demand for exports.AMMA chief executive Steve Knott told ABC Local Radio the survey results revealed a sharp turnaround from the skills crisis of recent years.“There’s been an enormous change in the last six months,” he told the network. “We’ve put off 10,000 people since the beginning of this year. We expect at least that many more to go during the course of 2009 and this needs to be put in context because in the middle of last year we were still planning to be recruiting another 75,000 to 100,000 people.”With the scarcity of credit further hampering miners’ project efforts, the AMMA chief executive expressed concern over what proposed changes to industrial relation laws could mean for employers.The proposed Fair Work Bill being debated in Parliament has sparked concern from employer groups over possible added business costs.“We need everything in our favor to protect existing jobs and get new projects off the ground,” the AMMA report said.Earlier today news emerged that BHP Billiton would slash 85 full time jobs and transfer an additional 50 workers from its Olympic Dam operation in South Australia.A company spokeswoman said the shake up was part of the 6000 global job cuts announced by BHP in January.

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