It seems every man and his dog are itching at the opportunity to head out to the mines and reap the rewards a career in the industry has to offer – But what exactly does a career on a mine site look like? And what should you know to be prepared before launching into the industry?
The mining industry is extremely competitive and demanding for those who take the plunge, often requiring individuals to work long hours away from home under tough physical and mental conditions.
The good news is that there are a wide variety of roles available for eager workers, with the industry rejuvenated and ready for a new period of productivity and growth.
Things To Consider Before You Apply:
BUILD YOUR NETWORK:
If you’re completely new to the mining industry and a bit lost with where you should start, try consulting anyone you know who has experience in the industry (even if they simply have connections they can pass onto you – it can be a great place to start).
Utilize these connections to find out what the daily grind really entails, where the industry is headed, what skills and knowledge are required and how they measure up against your current repertoire. This can be a smart way to scope out the industry without committing to expensive, unnecessary training or signing up to something your heart just won’t be in for the long-haul.
Building your network of affiliates also gives you insight to position openings before they are advertised to the general population, potentially improving your chances of landing a role. After all – who you know is just as important as what you know in many instances.
DO YOUR RESEARCH:
Allot sufficient time now to improve your breadth of knowledge with regards to the industry (trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it later). Not only will this give you an upper hand in job interviews and impress recruitment managers but you can learn about the different roles available that you will be most suitable for/interest you and hone your skill-set accordingly.
Bonus: An expansion in your knowledge means you will have the insight to target specific mine sites that are in a growth phase and plan ahead to gain any necessary training, putting you in a prime position to gain employment.
BE PREPARED TO UP-SKILL:
Thus brings us to the next critical point – training and development. Up-skilling to gain specific tickets and competencies can prove expensive (reiterating the importance to research, research, research) so speaking to training organisations and their industry experienced training officers will assist you to separate the ‘resume necessities’ from the ‘resume builders’.
Given the financial strain training can often present, this is also a great opportunity to delve into the wide assortment of funding options available in the training and development sector to discover which option(s) can be best tailored to your needs by talking to the experts.
As a minimum requirement in Queensland, it is essential to hold a current Standard 11/GIQ (Generic Mining Induction) accreditation in order to step foot onto any mine site. Without having completed this course, you won’t legally be able to fulfill your goal to attain work in the industry so we think that’s a pretty good place to start!
Before you break into a cold sweat, we do have some great news – These are quite accessible and once you’ve obtained your Standard 11, it’s valid for 5 years! You can generally obtain this by enrolling in a 3-day course (1-day if you only require refresher training) and are commonplace in any registered training organisation that specialize in preparing individuals for the mining industry.
STAND OUT WITH ADDITIONAL SKILLS:
As the roles within the mining industry are often diverse in their nature, so too are the skills required to perform them. For those looking to go the extra mile, skills and competencies such as truck licences (at least medium rigid, although often heavy rigid), working at heights, confined spaces and 4-wheel drive training are all useful and common industry skills found in the arsenal of those employed within the mining sector.
Tip: Whilst these are not required of every role, for those looking to improve their horizons and develop a career in the industry they will be received with high regard.
The Application Process:
PREPARE YOURSELF (MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY):
Okay, so we know it’s not exactly what you want to hear right now but it’s best to prepare yourself for a laborious time ahead. Whilst you could get lucky and land your dream role quicker than you can say mining, the competitive nature of the industry suggests this won’t be the case. The important thing to remember during this time is to treat any setbacks as opportunities to reset, reassess and reapply.
Ensuring you remain upbeat is vital as many employers will judge your attitude and demeanor before they take a second glance at your resume. Wherever possible, request feedback to investigate how you could improve your application moving forward. Not only will this bode well for the future, it will also show you are proactive and passionate about the industry which may just leave a lasting impressive in the mind of the recruiter.
DON’T BE DISHEARTENED:
Keep trying! As the industry is so competitive it will likely feel as though your efforts are going unnoticed. Try your best to brush off any disappointment and continue to apply for roles that suit your level of experience. Remember to be flexible with the roles you are applying for – It’s easier to transfer roles from within a company than it is to obtain work from the outside. Focus on getting your foot in the door – First proving your work ethic, reliability and willingness to learn new skills as well as take on new knowledge will ensure you give yourself the best shot to progress.
YOU’VE LANDED THE JOB! NOW WHAT?
PUT YOUR HEALTHIEST FOOT FORWARD:
We certainly hope you’ve been getting your 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables because you’re now required to undertake a ‘Coal Board Medical’ assessment!
Of course we’re only joking about the fruit and veges but you will be required to sit the medical. Whilst it’s good practice to limit your intake of alcohol, maintain a reasonable level of physical fitness and avoid illicit substances altogether, if you’ve landed a job in the mines now might be the time to really kick those habits to the curb as you’ll be required to pass drug and alcohol testing as part of your medical. Not to mention many mine sites also conduct routine drug and alcohol screenings!
SO…WHAT EXACTLY IS A ‘COAL BOARD MEDICAL AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?
The Coal Board Medical is a medical assessment as required by the Coal Mine Workers Health Scheme.
Every coal mining company has a responsibility to ensure a health assessment is carried out for each worker offered employment, or is already employed on a coal mine site.
In most cases, if you live on the eastern side of Australia and are looking to work in a mining environment, it is a workplace requirement and thus unavoidable.
The assessment is performed by nominated medical advisers in accordance with a departmental medical assessment form. These doctors can also be nominated by a mining company or employer.
The Coal Board Medical assessment must be carried out before the person is employed as a coal mine worker and periodically thereafter. However, a complete assessment must be performed at least once every five years whilst still employed as a coal mine worker.
As you can probably tell, there is a lot to learn and discover about cracking into the mining industry! We have barely scratched the surface here but for those eager to learn more, why not give us a call on 1300 000 737 to discuss your aspirations and let us help you get set up with the right knowledge and skills, ready to launch into a long and prosperous career in mining.