40 Under 40 Winner Warns of Upcoming Skills Shortage

At the age of 34, Adam Wilson is the Managing Director of mining recruitment specialist KCA Site Services, which he co-founded in 2016.  Two years ago, he had a staff of just two people. Last financial year, he grew that to 195 staff on-site, with that number set to double this year.

This astute business acumen is what helped Adam win this years’ prestigious 40 Under 40 award and makes his insight into the mining sector invaluable.

When asked about the health of the WA mining sector, Adam says that whilst current growth conditions have instilled confidence, this is will be under serious threat if the impending skills shortage isn’t addressed.

“Right now, we’re moving towards a critical situation.  Blue-collar workers are the backbone of our industry, and I know this from first hand experience.  I did every manual job before rising to Mine Foreman and training as Alternate Project Manager.  I know mining, because I am a miner.”

Adam intends to use his 40 Under 40 award as a platform to create a bigger conversation around the labour shortage, and create awareness of upskilling amongst our workforce.

“My greatest achievement is changing thinking and practices so mining becomes a long-term career. We need to value our workers, strengthen them through upskilling and attract more people to our sector. That is what KCA is all about, but we can’t solve this skills shortage on our own. There is a huge opportunity for our industry here if we work together, and gain government support.”

Adam sees a stronger workforce as the platform for keeping the industry solid when markets fluctuate.

“I know the power of adaptability to combat the highs and lows of the boom-bust cycle. At KCA, we provide the training and support to make our staff adaptable, and use their skills to build project specific teams. This provides the flexibility for our staff to move within projects, or be deployed to other projects as required. It gives our clients the security of knowing we have the right people, with the right training, to get their job done.”

The key to keeping WA mining strong, Adam says, is for WA to invest in WA.

“My focus is on strengthening our industry’s greatest asset, its people. We’re a West Australian company, and we want to keep our workforce here, and keep it working. I learnt about our industry by working at the coalface, here in WA. Our State is rich in natural resources. I want to make sure it’s as abundantly rich in the resource that really matters, the people who make it thrive.”

Adam says that whilst urgency is required to address the skills shortage, he is confident the issue will be addressed.

“I work with a great group of Western Australian companies. We take pride in our industry and in our workforce, and we know that strength comes from collaboration. We all know that mining is at the core of our State’s economy. I will be working tirelessly to make sure we get the best outcome for Western Australia.”