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Recruitment firm predicts a shortage of candidates for traditional scientific roles

Kelly Scientific Resources, a scientific recruitment firm in Australia, is predicting a shortage of candidates for traditional scientific roles as qualified scientists seek green collar opportunities created as a result of the recently implemented Carbon Tax.

With Australian businesses now navigating the Carbon Tax environment, opportunities for environmental advisers and other scientific and environmental related roles have increased.

This makes it an ideal time for workers in traditional scientific roles to look for opportunities in a wider sphere of corporate organisations and could lead to a shortage of workers in traditional scientific areas.

Ray Fleming, General Manager Professional and Technical at Kelly, said, “Traditional scientists looking for green collar work are in an ideal position. Employers simply cannot find enough suitably qualified environmental specialists so those with the right scientific backgrounds are likely to be snapped up and trained.

“The fact that the corporate arena traditionally remunerates at a higher level than the scientific sector, coupled with the idea that companies looking to attract skills in this area will be more willing to offer negotiable terms of employment, will no doubt entice some to consider a career change. “

The green sector is more relevant than ever and companies are investing in finding the right people to minimise additional expenses incurred by the carbon tax. This provides a unique opportunity for employees, but also means that other sectors may experience a shortage of skilled staff.

In this way the Carbon Tax’s impact on the mining industry may extend to mine operators ability to source qualified staff. Previously the mines and potential mine sites were among the most attractive option for Environmental Scientists and Engineers.

With the upturn in the Environmental Industry, demand for such professionals has increased greatly across the board.

Fleming said, “Businesses in all industries have recognised the need to develop strategies and adequately prepare for increased expense.

“The increase in available positions has created what is now a highly competitive industry for finding skilled workers. Kelly Scientific Australia expects green jobs in carbon offset generating projects to increase even further.

“While this is all great news for qualified scientific professionals, employers that are seeing staff walk out the door in search of that lucrative corporate change need to employ strategies to motivate their employees and reward their skills.”

Kelly Scientific Australia suggests employers adopt five strategies to help keep staff loyal and retain skilled workers.

1. Reward and recognise employees often
Ensure your remuneration offer is as competitive as possible and look for opportunities to reward and recognise employees outside of the normal salary. Employees crave positive feedback and will be more productive when they receive it.

2. Invest in employees and provide training
Training is an investment in employees and staff see it as an investment in their professional development. Employees need training to maintain their skills so ensure this is a priority.

3. Establish a family-friendly or flexible work environment
Balancing work and family life can be one of employees’ biggest challenges. Look at ways to be more accommodating and provide flexible solutions.

4. Collaborate. Ask employees for input on important decisions
The more managers develop a collaborative relationship with staff, the better that relationship will be. You and your staff depend on each other, so try to demonstrate that point on them. Employees will feel important and more committed to the mission.

5. Listen to staff concerns
Staff will have concerns about working conditions, working hours, deadlines and other matters. Listen to what they say, because if you don’t, morale will be lowered. If there’s little chance that you can resolve the concern, let them know immediately to help set their expectations.

Fleming said, “The carbon tax is a revenue opportunity for the environmental sector, however those companies wishing to retain their staff need to ensure that they’re implementing the right tools to empower them, providing a supportive environment where they feel challenged and rewarded.”

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