So just how do you get a mining job with no experience?
This is a question that plagues many people looking in any industry, not just the mining and resource industry.
I must admit, there is some good news and some not so good news.
Firstly the good news . . .
It is possible to walk straight into a mining job with no mining experience.
That is the good news . . . the not so good news is that you are going to have to get some experience in a related industry first. Perseverance, hard work, going around door knocking and getting out of your comfort zone are all a part of getting a job in the mining and resource sector quicker than other people who expect a preferred roster living at home, close to their workplace.
“the best fruit is found on the highest branches”
Sometimes getting that dream mining job involves stepping out of your comfort zone. They do say that “the best fruit is found on the highest branches”. Sometimes if you are not living in the state that the job is being offered in, you are not going to get a start and quite often you won`t even get a reply.
The simplest way to get on a mine site without any experience is through contractors
When we have asked ex-students of Industry Pathway (preferred RTO) who have got jobs in the mining and resource sector after their training, it was clear the easiest and simplest way to get on a mine site without any experience is through contractors. Look at HR driving jobs, cleaning or anything you think fits your skill set. Once you get a start with a mining company you can progress from there. To have a greater advantage research company names of contractors that are supplying labour to the project or company you are working for.
Do your research on what companies are providing labour to the mining contractors
One idea is to work in a small local company in the city that will eventually take you out on-site. So do your research on what companies are providing labour hire services to the contractors. These are the companies that you should go to first. The reason being is everybody wants to work for Rio Tito or BHP and the like, so what happens is the second tier down gets sucked up to the top tier and the third tier gets sucked into the second tier and so on. The best chance at getting a start in the mines is starting with a contractor that supplies to one of the providers in the mining sector.
It is often said if you can find work in a job environment that is similar to the mining and resource sector, you are going to have a greater chance of securing your target job. For example: operate a digger or dozer on a construction site, drive a road train for a transport company so you know how to deal with heavy machinery. Be a safety officer in a factory. Do survey work for the local council. There are plenty of ways for people to go beyond the mining sector to get experience that will transfer directly to the mining and resource sector.
Do the right training courses
There really isn`t that much difference between civil mining and resource mining, just the location and”¦sometimes”¦the pay. So, if you want to get that start, have a look at quarries or other civil construction work. We are not talking about building an apartment block; we are talking about building roads, bridges, train tracks, dams and the like.
Highly recommended tickets are:
- Working Safely at Heights.
- Enter and Work in Confined Spaces.
- Four Wheel Drive; and
- Senior First Aid.
By having these four tickets you position yourself ahead of other applicants. We know mining companies haven`t got it in their budgets to continually train new people coming in, so you have to take the training initiative, invest in yourself and then work with contractors or smaller service providers.
Because there is very little difference between civil construction in the mining sector and mining industry itself, the skills, the knowledge, the safety training and experience you have will transfer directly to mining. It is then up to you to ensure your resume states the similarities between what you are doing now and what you want to do.
Your resume’ needs to be mine-specific
While we are on the subject of resumes, it is important to ensure your resume is mine-specific. For example: Industry Pathways recently posted a job for a trainee plant operator; over 75% of people failed to answer the job ad correctly. That means 75% of the applicants failed the basic requirement and something which they could have easily fixed.
At iMINCO we conducted a workshop with HR and recruitment companies to find out some extra tips and strategies currently used to save time when searching through resumes. So if you haven`t had your resume professionally written, now might be the best time to get it done. Then use these tips and strategies which will definitely give you an advantage.
It’s becoming less about who you know and more about what you know
Your cover letter is an opportunity to show a prospective employer why you are worth them giving you a go. We are asked constantly “Is it who you know rather than what you know?”¯ We can certainly tell you people are much less likely to refer someone who may subsequently represent a risk to their own position in the company. I think it is becoming less about whom you know and more about what you know. To that point, what you are prepared to do.
We spoke with one recent Industry Pathways graduate who thought if he just sent out his resume he would get lucky. He then realised he got a job by doing the hard yards such as labouring, the so called “crappy jobs”¯ to get a chance at getting some experience. Now whilst he wouldn`t call himself highly skilled or experienced at the moment, he doesn`t go without work because he is prepared to put in the time doing a less significant job to work toward a greater opportunity in mining. In other words, his labouring job becomes a stepping stone to something greater.
You may have to travel to another state to find work
Be realistic in your desires. You are not going to get in at entry level FIFO 7 days on and 7 days off with no experience so it has got to be measured in what you want to do. If you are not going to seek work in similar industries then you must step out of your local area to find the work. Look at other states and places like Darwin, Mt Isa. These are places where ‘cleanskin’ employment is occurring at a higher rate than other areas.
The last point I want to make about getting a job as a ‘cleanskin’ is to be very careful of your social media presence. Recruiters and mining companies survey and look through your online presence which includes comments etc. Be very careful about not commenting on sites you think might be mining specific, but in reality might bring your own social presence down. Be careful of the language you use on these particular sites.
As always, we maintain that a skilled person with no experience is going to be far more attractive than an unskilled person with no experience”¦so you have to do whatever it takes to set yourself apart from the rest.
As we mentioned, four extra courses other than a mining induction would be Working at Heights, Confined Space, 4wd and your First Aid. And make sure you get these through a Registered Training Organisation.
As always, iMINCO are here to assist, partnering with RTO Industry Pathways to bring you mine specific training plus unparalleled post training job support and a complimentary Career Pathway Program clearly makes Industry Pathways an easy choice when it comes to the mining and resource sectors.
Reference: How to get into a mining job with no experience