Waste diversion spurs skills demand

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					                                                        WASTE INDUSTRY SKILLS AUDIT                                                                                                                                  15

       Waste diversion spurs skills demand
Wright Corporate Strategy has                ■  employment of new personnel with                            there is likely to be growth in total                        forecast at 26%, much of it in organic
compiled a assessment of skills              new skills for the growth areas, and                           industry employment over the next                            waste processing, MRF operations and
needs in the waste industry over             ■ financial and material resources for                         decade of about 20%, or 2% per                               mixed waste processing.
the next decade. Paul Howlett                training both the incoming and the                             annum. Of this, a significant propor-                           Nationally there will be significant
and Rebecca Walter outline the               relocated personnel.                                           tion will be outside metropolitan cen-                       changes in employment in specific
results in this four page exclusive.            These findings are designed to pro-                         tres, with employment expected to                            activities and job classifications. The
                                             vide a basis for seeking appropriate sup-                      increase by 32% compared to just 12%                         two stand-out trends are a 39% reduc-
WASTE management in Australia is             port for the industry, with coverage by                        in the cities.                                               tion in jobs in the landfill sector and
undergoing significant structural            the Construction and Property Services                            This reflects the increasing service                      the massive growth in organics collec-
change as state governments push to          Industry Skills Council in providing the                       levels that will become available to                         tion and processing and in mixed waste
divert waste from landfill disposal. This                                                                                                                                processing. The audit also forecasts a
will lead to major and permanent shifts                     INCREASE IN EMPLOYMENT                                         DECREASE IN EMPLOYMENT                        significant increase in demand for per-
in the industry’s employment profile                    ACTIVITIES                 CLASSIFICATIONS                  ACTIVITIES                  CLASSIFICATIONS          sonnel engaged at the interface with
and skill-base over the next 10 years; in        ■  organic waste collection   ■   fixed plant operations    ■ general waste collection           ■ mobile plant         waste generators. While collection pat-
                                                 ■ organic waste processing         ■ clerical ■ drivers         ■ landfill operations          operators at landfills
particular jobs growth in regional areas                                                                                                    ■
                                                                                                                                                                         terns are expected to change at kerb-
                                                       ■ MRF operations                 ■ mechanics         ■ transfer station operations

of about one third and a boom in the              ■ mixed waste processing           ■ waste education
                                                                                                                                                                         side, the net shift in skill demands for
organics and waste processing sectors                                               ■ customer service                                                                   collection services is considered to be
with employment growth of 180% plus.                                                                                                                                     relatively small.
                                             Broad trends in the waste trade’s skills requirements.
   Wright Corporate Strategy has under-                                                                                                                                     This picture of industry job demands
taken a analysis of the shift in job         resources and leadership in national                           non-metropolitan areas. The forecast                         will help the Skills Council, associated
demands in the industry to 2016,             competency standards. The council also                         can be expected to remain true even                          working parties and specialist consult-
assuming constant waste generation           covers another 20-plus industry sectors,                       with the inclusion of increasing waste                       ants prepare competency development
rates based on 2003-04 published data.       so the waste management industry must                          generation rates, especially given the                       material to address skill gaps. It will
To accommodate the shifts in employ-         have a broad comprehension of its skill                        population shifts being seen to coastal,                     also help industry prepare for the shifts
ment mix and skill base, the industry        demands if it is to secure a fair and rea-                     non-metropolitan developments.                               ahead and establish appropriate
will require:                                sonable share of the resources available                          NSW is expected to experience the                         recruitment and training systems. The
■ retraining of some personnel to move       for skills development.                                        greatest jobs growth as it drives                            audit was well supported by the indus-
them from work activities and/or job                                                                        towards aggressive resource recovery                         try, with modest financial support and
classifications that will be in decline to   Fleshing out the fallout                                       targets and the waste levy progressive-                      excellent statistical and data input
those where growth is likely,                On a macro basis, the data indicates                           ly starts to bite. Employment growth is                      from local councils and operators. iw

                ieving pra
           "ach           c ti c                 TOWARDS ZERO WASTE CONFERENCE & EXPO 2006
                                   so                           CONFERENCE - EXPO - TECHNICAL TOURS
                                       t                     31 May – 2 June, 2006 - Stamford Grand Adelaide, SA


                                                               REGISTER NOW

c on



                        & te              rs
                               chnical tou                                                  or phone 1300 651 026
Sponsored by Zero Waste SA, the Towards Zero Waste Conference, Expo & Technical Tours is South Australia's only Event
dedicated entirely to Waste Management.
This year’s conference theme, “Achieving Practical Solutions” will provide an informative and perhaps sometimes controversial
perspective on how waste management in South Australia has evolved post-closure of the Wingfield Waste Management Landfill e.g.
Are we achieving the outcomes that were expected post-closure? The conference program will also focus strongly on the questions,
"Will we achieve the State Waste Strategy targets? and How can this be accomplished?"
Following on from the inaugural Conference held in June of 2004, the 2006 event will once again provide a forum to develop and
promote environmentally sound resource recovery and waste management practices. In addition, this event aims to provide further
and updated information and ideas on those topics in effect, to look at the next steps in these, and other areas within the waste
management industry in South Australia.

                                                                                                                                                   insidewaste                   A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 6
16      A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 6
                                                        WASTE INDUSTRY SKILLS AUDIT

     Audit Methodology                                                      Table 1 – Employment in Waste Management Activities (2006-2016)
                                                                                                                       Capital Cities      Rest Of State          Australia
     THE SKILL demands of the waste management industry were
                                                                            Waste Management Activity                    Est      Est         Est     Est        Est     Est
     ascertained from an analysis of the jobs required and an
                                                                                                                       2006     2016        2006    2016       2006    2016
     understanding of the skills and competencies necessary to
     carry out those jobs.                                                  General Waste Collection (Municipal)      2,310     1,900      1,940 1,810        4,250    3,710
        The predominant cause for the change in job demand, and             General Waste Collection (C&I)              330       330        160     160        490      490
     therefore skill needs, was increasing desire on the part of com-       Landfill Disposal                           700       420        300     190      1,000      610
     munities and governments to recover more resources from
                                                                            MRF Operations                            1,740     2,030      1,120 1,690        2,860    3,720
     waste streams before residuals are disposed.
        This will see the following typical shifts in waste flows for       MRW Process                                   40      320         10     150         50      470
     both municipal and commercial waste streams:                           Organics Processing                         240     1,250          90    260        330    1,510
        ■ higher levels of source separation, particularly recyclables
                                                                            Organics Waste Collection (Municipal)     1,730     1,990        670 1,770        2,400    3,760
          and organic waste,
                                                                            Recyclables Collection (Municipal)        1,440     1,440      1,150 1,190        2,590    2,630
        ■ specialised collections for the source separated waste

          streams,                                                          Transfer Station Operations                 440       360         60       50       500      410
        ■ dedicated processing plants for the source separated
                                                                            Total                                     8,970 10,040         5,500 7,270       14,470 17,310
        ■ processing plants for mixed residual waste, and

        ■ less material destined for landfill disposal.                  TABLE 1 The estimates for employment levels           some metropolitan areas;
        To develop an estimate of future job needs, WCS built a          in each of nine core waste management activi-         • reduction in the collection of general waste as
     number of models based on public data, industry-confidential        ties are shown separated into estimates for cap-      organic collections move to weekly schedules
     data and in-house estimates of current and future likely waste      ital cities, the remainder of each state or terri-    and general waste is collected fortnightly in
     stream flows, focusing on MSW (general waste, organics and          tory and Australia overall.                           many metropolitan areas;
     recyclables) and all dry solid C&I wastes.                             It clearly demonstrates the major shifts           • increase in the amount of mixed residual
        We then assessed the current and projected productivities of     expected in the intensity of waste management         waste diverted from landfill to mixed waste pro-
     people employed in collection, transfer and transport, pro-         activities, such as:                                  cessing;
     cessing and disposal, with a focus on blue collar jobs up to        • increase in collection and processing of            • increasing levels of service to non-metropoli-
     leading hand and all support staff up to waste and operations       source separated garden and food organic              tan areas; and
     managers for both councils and the private sector.                  wastes, and a shift to weekly collections in          • reduction in the demand for landfill activities.

                                                    WASTE MANAGEMENT TRAINING:
                                                    PRACTICAL, FLEXIBLE, EXPERIENCED

                                                    The waste management                   advantage of the nationally               sectors including drivers,
                                                    industry in Australia is               accredited and recognised,                recycling, composting, liquid
                                                    changing rapidly. Can you              workplace-based, waste                    and clinical waste.
                                                    be sure you have the right             management training
                                                                                                                                     The packages are suitable
                                                    people with the right skills           packages offered by the
                                                                                                                                     for private enterprises and
                                                    to meet the challenge?                 Gordon Institute of TAFE.
                                                                                                                                     local government, while
                                                    Visy, Cleanaway, Sita                  The Gordon offers the only                government incentives
                                                    Environmental Services                 nationally-available training             may be available to eligible
                                                    and Collex have all taken              packages designed for all                 participants.

                                                         For more information contact Paul Sherry on 5225 5972, 0438 358 332 or
                                            and visit the website at

     A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 6              insidewaste

            Table 2 – Employment Levels in Job Categories
                               Capital Cities    Rest Of State        Australia
    Job Category                 Est      Est      Est      Est       Est      Est
                               2006     2016     2006     2016      2006     2016
    Clerical                     740     920       500     610     1,240    1,530
    Customer Service             170     170       100     130       270      300
    Driver                     1,960 1,950       1,210 1,550       3,170    3,500
    General Labour                60     130        30      60         90     190
    Managerial                   840     940       680     790     1,520    1,730
    Mechanic                     550     660       410     570       960    1,230
    Mobile Plant Operator        250     150       110      70       360      220
    Process Plant Operator 1,530 2,280             930 1,470       2,460    3,750
    Runner                     1,610 1,270         800 1,000       2,410    2,270
    Sales                        140     190        60      70       200      260
    Technician                   390     470        50      50       440      520
    Waste Education              460     610       480     690       940    1,300
    Weighbridge                  270     300       140     210       410      510
    Total                     8,970 10,040      5,500 7,270       14,470 17,310

TABLE 2 The overall data was further         cians and engineers will be required to
analysed using industry-supplied met-        facilitate operation of plants with
rics for typical productivities of employ-   increasing process technology complex-
ees in various job categories within         ity, greater cost implications and signif-
each of the main waste management            icant quality control and environmental
activities. It presents the data arranged    management ramifications.
according to the main job categories.           For those new jobs requiring high
   It indicates future waste management      levels of interaction with waste gener-
activities will become more labour-          ators, there will be some limited oppor-
intensive than the landfill-based sys-       tunities to recruit suitably skilled peo-
tems that predominate today, even            ple from other industry sectors, such as
though it is anticipated more mecha-         customer service and clerical employ-
nised systems for collection and pro-        ees. However, for the demand in waste
cessing will be introduced. In particular:   educators there will be an urgent
   • there will be more collections for      requirement to put in place appropriate
source separated wastes and more pro-
cessing of those streams, demanding
                                             training at various institutions and
                                             within the industry, and introduction of
                                                                                                     working together
more process plant operators, mechan-        a significant campaign to attract             for sustainable resource recovery solutions
ics, technicians, general labourers and      appropriate people into the waste man-
managers at various levels across the        agement sector. In both instances, the
range of waste management activities;        time for response will be short and the
and                                          training time must be factored-in to
   • there will be greater interaction       deliver suitable candidates as the
with waste generators from both coun-        demand arises.
cils and the waste service providers, as        The WCS Skills Audit has considered
indicated in the demand for more waste       job category demands that are likely to
educators, customer service staff and        arise through changes in waste stream
clerical/administrative personnel.           flows as greater efforts are made to
   The main area of decline will be in       recover resources. The analysis
mobile plant operations, which are           assumes introduction of reasonably
found mainly in landfill activities.         known technologies and systems, with-
   Meeting the demand for people in          out consideration of possible impacts                           We deliver:
process plant operations – MRFs, com-        from new technologies that may
posting and mixed waste plants – will        change the way existing activities are
                                                                                                   • Auditing • Communication
require a new group of skilled employ-       undertaken. Therefore, in addition to               • Domestic Waste Management
ees, unlikely to be easily recruited from    the broad demands highlighted, there
other process plant environments in          will be extra skill and competency
                                                                                                   • Commercial and Industrial
other sectors. This will require immedi-     demands on the current workforce             • Strategic Waste Plans Operational reviews
ate thinking on specialised training for     brought about by greater use of IT and                  • Training and Education
new entrants into processing activities,     communications systems, greater
recruited from both within and outside       interest and concern by the communi-         • Project Management / Resource Recovery
the industry, and exploring opportuni-       ty in the outcomes achieved with high-
                                                                                          Sydney Ph: (02) 9907 0994 Brisbane Ph: (07) 3878 5515
ties for early-age entry of new employ-      er demand for community interaction,
                                                                                                        Perth Ph: (08) 9472 8811
ees into the waste management sector.        and greater demand for technological-
In the technician area, process techni-      ly aware employees.                    iw

                                                                                                        insidewaste        A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 6
18     A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 6
                                                        WASTE INDUSTRY SKILLS AUDIT

                                                                                                  TABLE 3 The top row shows the distribution of employed peo-
                                  Table 3 – New Job Demand by State                               ple across the states and territories. It remains fairly constant
                                                                                                  between 2006 and 2016 and aligns with the historical employ-
                                     NSW     VIC   QLD     WA    SA   TAS    NT    ACT   Total
                                                                                                  ment distribution data published by the Australian Bureau of
       Existing job breakdown        35%     25%   19%     10%   6%   2%     2%    1%    –        Statistics for the waste industry.
       Job Category
       Clerical                      110     70    80      15    -    10     -     5     290      In respect of sourcing the new employees for the various job
                                                                                                  categories on a state-by-state basis, it indicates that:
       Customer Service              20      10    -       -     -    -      -     -     30
                                                                                                  • demand for new positions in NSW is unlikely to be satisfied by
       Driver                        180     70    50      15    -    10     -     5     330      transfer of existing skilled workers from other industry sectors;
       General Labour                50      30    10      10    -    -      -     -     100      • in South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the
       Managerial                    90      40    50      20    5    5      -     -     210      ACT it is likely the demand could be satisfied through transfers
                                                                                                  from other sectors; and
       Mechanic                      120     60    60      20    5    5      -     -     270
                                                                                                  • for Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, a combination
       Mobile Plant Operator         -50     -30   -40     -10   -5   -5     -     -     -140     of training fresh recruits and transfers from other sectors could
       Process Plant Operator        510     260   350     90    50   20     -     10    1,290    be a successful strategy.
       Runner                        40      -90   -90     10    -5   -10    -     5     -140
       Sales                         20      10    20      10    -    -      -     -     60
       Technician                    35      10    15      5     5    5      -     5     80
       Waste Education               90      90    70      80    5    15     5     5     360
       Weighbridge                   35      20    25      10    5    5      -     -     100
       Total                         1,250   550   600     275   70   60     5     30    2,840

                                                                                                   TABLE 4 A possible upper bound in the demand for new
                    Table 4 – Demand for employees if generation increases                         employees was made assuming waste generation rates continue
                                                                                                   to grow in line with inflation and population growth. This
                                     NSW     VIC   QLD     WA    SA   TAS    NT    ACT   Total     might result in demand for a further 930 people nationally,
                                                                                                   or 5% over the constant generation case. On this basis, it is
       Employees required            6,410   4,500 3,500   1,810 1,020 390   360   250   18,240
                                                                                                   reasonable to assume real employment levels in the sector
                                                                                                   could be up to double the national average inflation rate.

     A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 6                insidewaste

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