Making a mining contact

Making a mining contact

Making a mining contact is an important part of getting a job for a new starter. So, do you have to know someone or can you make that contact for yourself? A lot of people will tell you that you have to know someone. For a lot of areas of the industry like Iron Ore and coal, this appears to be true. However, there are areas of the industry that are so desperate for people, that you can make a mining contact for yourself.

Hardrock underground is one of these areas. If you follow some simple advice, educate yourself and start looking at it from the employer’s point of view, you can do it. It’s not hard to chase down a contact and job. The advice, go where employers have no choice but to hire new starters and give them what they want.

So what do employers want? This is often a double-barrelled question because obviously the employers all want people with experience. If they can get them. However, hardrock underground employers know they aren’t going to get experienced people for the lower paying jobs ($400-$550 a day). This means they are forced into hiring new starters for the Nipper, Truck and Offsider jobs. This is happening around the country. Go onto seek and type “underground” in and you will see all the jobs come up.

The problem employers have, is they are forced to hire first and then train people on site. It turns into sink or swim training, that has more than a 50% failure rate. The new starters just don’t know what they are getting themselves into. The industry terms these people as “green”. A person is green when they know nothing about mining on day one. Employers obviously want new starters out of their green phase as quickly as possible. They want people to find their feet in weeks. However, if you go in green most people take months to find their feet and the longer it takes, the higher the chance of failure.

This is where education comes into play. Using either the DIY Introduction to Underground Mining, the W1N-W1N or Workready packages that Underground Training offers. There is 50hours of mining knowledge to learn within these packages. This is your in with the employers. When you can show them that you know how their mine works and what is going to be expected of you. As a Nipper, Truck Operator, Offsider or member of Service Crew (there is a service crew course in the training), it changes the game.

The employers know people that have completed the training don’t have any practicable experience, that’s not what they are interested in. They want someone with their mining knowledge up to speed. Then all they have to do is teach them how to driver the truck, instead of everything all at once. They know they will have a productive member of crew in weeks instead of the months it takes the other way.

It becomes very easy to make a hardrock underground mining contact when you know what a jumbo is and does. How to water down a heading, what a heading is. What to do if someone shakes their cap lamp from left to right. Where not to scale and the hundreds of other specific tasks and information a new starter has to be taught. This is what the employers want, someone with their mining knowledge up to speed.

95% of people that complete the training and get jobs, make it past the 6 month mark in their first job. Compare this with the industry average for green new starters. That sees over 50% fail in the first 6 months. You can see the appeal to employers and how when you approach them it becomes very easy to make your mining contact to get your start in the industry.

If you would like to talk to one of the Shift Bosses about how to get a start in the mining industry then you can leave your details in this link

Good luck, hope this information helps. I hope everyone gets the job they are after.


The Mining Coach