Doing your research into getting a production mining job
It’s just so important that you do the right research into getting a production mining job. If you doesn’t, you can get stuck in one of the areas of the industry, that don’t pay that well or even provide a full-time job. With little hope, of making it across to one of the mining production jobs, that everyone is after. The Facebook pages are full of people, that are stuck in Utilities, Shutdown, Construction and Security jobs. That just can’t make that final step, into a production mining job. There are reasons for this. In this blog I am going to outline the popular advice going around and how it rarely leads to a mining production job.
In 25 years of working within the production side of the mining industry (Hardrock underground). I can count on one hand the number of people I have seen start in a Utilities, Shutdown, Construction or Security job and make it to a production mining job. If you have made the move across and are reading this, then congratulations, you are the exception to the rule. A unicorn for want of a better word. So, what’s so wrong with just getting your foot in the door? For 95% of people, the area of the mining industry you start in, is the area you stay in. The longer you stay in that area, the harder it becomes to move.
These 4 areas of the industry that people try to use, to get their foot in the door. Don’t lead anywhere, for one main reason. They don’t involve any transferable skills into the production mining jobs. All the production mining jobs require a very specific set of skills. Just working another job on a mine site, will not teach you these skills. This is one of the reasons people get stuck. The other, is the employee poaching rules bought in the late 90’s on most sites in the industry.
Before this, if we lost a Truck operator or Nipper and the person that was washing the dishes or making the bed was alright. Then the foreman would hire them. The problem for the Utility companies was they kept losing people. To the point it became a problem. As it was pointed out to me by a senior Newcrest manager. “Someone has to wash the dishes and clean the rooms”. I was in Telfer when the rules changed across the industry. The rule change was simple. If you are changing employers, 6 months off site before you can come back with the new employer. The result was instant and has made it almost impossible to move from a utility role to a production mining job in the last 20plus years.
To make the move, it’s not just a matter of getting to know the foreman or project manager on your site. You need to get to know them and then get them to give you a job on another site. This is just a bridge too far for most people. It’s one thing hiring someone for your own site. It’s something completely different, handing a person you have recommended off to a Foreman on another site. Production Mining is funny about recommending people. If they don’t work out, the person that recommended them is held accountable personally. I have seen a number of careers derailed, when people recommend mates that then don’t work out.
Next are the Shutdown and Construction workers that think they have transferable skills because they have equipment tickets. They all go hard at the production mining employers with these tickets. Not realising that the employers can’t use them, they have to issue their own onsite equipment tickets and procedures. All this does is scream at the production mining employers, that you don’t understand how their mine works. The resume gets culled straight away. It can be especially hard for Shutdown workers to make the jump across. Unfortunately most bosses have had a very bad experience with a Shutdown worker along the way. They are responsible for many of the rule changes over the last 20years. They are often all tarred with the same brush. You need to understand that in the production mining side of the industry it often tars everyone with the same brush. It is what it is, the way the industry works and why people struggle making the jump.
The solution to the problem is both simple and obvious. Firstly, you need to start in the production mining area of the industry. So you don’t need to move. Second you need to make an attempt to learn how the employers mine works. This method is proven and effective with the training packages we offer for the Hardrock underground production jobs. With others taking the advice and using it for surface mining jobs. You can start a mining career as a Nipper, Truck operator or Offsider on $400-$500 a day and end up working overseas as a Shift Boss, Foreman or Jumbo operator earning between $20K and $35K a month.
If you think you want to start a career in underground mining then check out our DIY Introduction to Underground Mining and W1N W1N packages. The employers are looking for people that can answer the mining questions in an interview and who are happy to relocate for a job. Just type “underground” into Seek and you will see all the jobs come up. If you get in now, you are getting into the start of the next big cycle.
I hope you can see how important it is that you do the right research into getting a production mining job.
There is 50 hours of important information that you can learn for yourself in the DIY Introduction to Underground mining package linked below. It will not only make it much easier to get a start but it will ensure you have all the information and tools you need to make a career out of it. If you don’t want to become a statistic, then education is key
“Workready” includes the 4 online Underground Training courses, the Australian mining seminar, a full resume review/redo with training and interview prep. Having access to someone with so much experience within the industry to prep you, is a huge advantage in getting your start.