The best advice I ever got (or can give), for someone trying to get a start the mining industry is, “to go where the employers have no choice but to hire new starters”. Today, that’s happening in 2 places, Exploration and Hardrock Underground. Both areas are ramping up and are hiring new starters to fill the offsiders, Nipper and Truck drivers roles.
If you go onto seek and type “underground” into the first box and give it a spin, then you will see all the jobs come up. Yes, all the jobs ask for experience, that’s on the off chance they can poach people with experience from another site that are unhappy or want a change. To get one of these underground jobs all you need is a manual license, be able to pass a medical, police clearance and have some mining knowledge. If you want to work on the surface then you will need a HR license.
With the exception of Oliver Peterson on the afternoon shift at Perth radio station 6PR the media has done a very poor job of communicating to the public where the new mining jobs are. They seem unable to look past Iron Ore or Oil & Gas when reporting on jobs within the industry. This is where the new starters jobs were last time, in the last boom. The irony is that in these areas there is no job growth, no new jobs. Instead only a handful of jobs come up each year to replace people lost to natural attrition on the sites.
The other thing that isn’t reported widely, is the failure rate that occurs when employers must hire new starters for their mine sites. In hardrock underground, if a new starter goes in green then they have a 3 in 5 chance of failing in the first 6 months. There are lots of reasons this happens and the best way of avoiding becoming one of the 3 is to learn as much about the mine and the jobs you are going to be expected to do as a new starter.
In an effort to stop this happening a group of WA shift boss wrote a training package to get the new starters up to speed before they get to site. It’s what a shift boss wants a new starter to know before that person goes down the hole on their crew. It has been set up as a win/win for employers and new starters. The new starter gets a job and the employer gets someone who can answer the mining question in the interview and knows which way is up on their first day on the mine site.
The video below shows why the employers interview and then hire people that have completed the training.