Lure of big wages causing dilemma
DON Andrewartha is stuck in a dilemma that appears to have no solution.
Mr Andrewartha, owner of Prizeman Electrician & Refrigeration, is watching his business slowly lose its staff as massive resources companies roll in to town.
"We've gone from having 18 or 20 staff, to now having about eight," he said.
"We would love to have more staff, but we've had to change our whole business to accommodate the smaller crew."
The problem is that companies in the resources sector are offering his staff and potential recruits' salaries he can't go close to matching.
"We need electricians and we need refrigeration mechanics," he said.
The business has stopped doing refrigeration work and white-goods work, because there is simply no staff to do the work.
"(The big companies) are all asking us to come and do work for them," he said.
"That is fine, but the minute we do (send our workers to do the job), they get poached."
"I lost two workers for (new jobs worth) $160,000 a year at Fishermans Landing. We can't afford to pay our blokes $160,000 a year and fix people's stoves."
He did not blame the workers for taking those opportunities, saying it was only natural.
But he worries about the ethics of the tactics by big companies.
These companies need the work done, and they are going to do what ever it takes," he said.
"There is just no limit to their money."
Energy Skills Queensland
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