Myths about getting an entry level mining job
If you or a friend are looking to try to get into the mining industry. Then here are 5 myths about getting an entry level mining job, that will save you a lot of time and money.
Myth: The industry uses a national ticketing system
All the hardrock mines around the country are required to issue their own onsite tickets and procedures. These are non-transferable, when you move mine sites you are required to do new equipment tickets and procedures for the new site. The RII ticket system is only used in the construction, shutdown, Oil & Gas and Coal (Queensland only) areas of the industry. It is not used in the actual mining side of the industry, which I know is very strange. This is because all the mines use their state system, that the mine is located in. Each state has its own mines inspectorate, that is responsible for all the mines in that state.
If you or a friend are thinking about doing some of these tickets. Then just take 5 minutes to look at some of the job ads. To see if they require equipment tickets or not. If you type underground into seek, you can check out the truck driver job ads yourself. Most just want a manual car license for the underground Truck jobs. Or a HR license for the open pit jobs.
Over the years I have watched lots of people waste money on tickets that only hurt their chances of getting a job. When you send a resume in full of RII tickets, to an actual mining job. It gets culled straight away, once it hits site, if it makes it that far. By doing this, you are coming at the employers with a resume full of tickets that they can’t use. What does that say about you and the research you have done to get into the industry? What does that say about the sort of employee you are going to make? I know lots of bosses that think, not a very good one, unfortunately.
Myth: A FIFO job will lead to a Mining job
All you have to do is get your foot in the door, and you can move up from there. That’s the advice everywhere on the internet and it’s completely wrong. Only a very small amount of people are able to make that happen. The majority 95% get stuck in the area of the industry they started in. With the poaching rules between employers on site having been around for 20 years. It makes it almost impossible to make that jump into an actual mining job.
The poaching rule on most site says, you have to go off site for months (normally 6months) before you can come back with a different employer. This means that most people get trapped in a utility role, on not a lot of money, because they can’t move jobs on the same site. The video below outlines the issues about moving into a mining job.
Myth: All the entry level jobs are in Iron Ore and Coal
With the automation of the strip mines in the iron ore industry and now coal in Queensland, the focus of jobs within the mining industry has moved. Today the majority of entry level jobs have moved to the Gold, Nickel, Copper, Silver, Zinc or Base Metals mines. These mines are both underground and open pit. They are located all around the country.
In Western Australia you can tell the jobs have moved by the number of recruitment companies that have moved their focus. They have moved their focus from Iron Ore to the hardrock underground area of the industry. It’s a smart move, they have pivoted into an area of the industry that requires lots of people, for years to come. You can read about how automation works with in the industry by following this link.
Myth: The S11 is nationally recognised
The S11 is not recognised by any of the other mining inspectorates around the country, only Queensland. It’s an induction required for jobs on coal mines in Queensland. It will not help you get a job in any other state or even in the hardrock mines in Queensland. These mines don’t require it either and again I suggest you check out the job ads for confirmation.
The S11 has the same result as the RII tickets with your resume. How do you think you look to employers? Hire me because I have done a coal mining induction for Queensland, even though your mine is a hardrock one, in NSW? They just get culled on site. The research you do and training you undertake, makes a huge difference to the jobs you can get.
Myth: The fantasy mining job, driving big trucks up north
What is happening to the fantasy job in the age of automation? I won’t lie to you, its not good. Middle management in Iron Ore have made it their mission to replace as many truck drivers as they can. Below is a video on what is happening
If you want a long-term mining career, then you have to go where employers are hiring and give then what they want. Today that’s in Hardrock Underground and Exploration.
Education is key, if you want to get in as a Nipper, Truck Operator, Agi Operator or Offsider. You can educate yourself using either the DIY Introduction to Underground Mining, W1N W1N or Workready training packages. Each offers a pathway in, it just depends how much support you want/need, as to which package is best for you.
Hope that info helps
The Mining Coach