Surge in Standard 11 mining inductions
The iron ore price downturn in latter years affected many mine workers who were once happy to fly-in-fly-out to remote iron ore mines across WA. These jobs were tough to hold on back in the day because of the $60 a tonne mark, iron ore fetched in 2015.
WA mining companies did feel the squeeze
WA mining companies were being squeezed by combining factors of dwindling demand and over supply of iron ore which is driving commodity prices through the floor. With operating costs stripped to the bone and the implementation of automation in many of WA’s iron ore mines, mining companies are continuing to reduce the workforce.
This has led to many contractors and full-time workers being forced to look for work in their own back yards. Initially, there was an influx of workers from Queensland who fled across the country chasing high wages; and they did so with ease as iron ore hungry China created a boom time for the WA iron ore industry. As with most cycles of increased activity, there has to be a yield point, a place where growth and demand will ease and slow down.
This ‘tipping point’ came in the beginning of 2014 when the ripples started to appear on the surface and now we are seeing the far reaching effects because of the exodus of WA mine workers back to their home state.
Queensland mining signs of making a recovery
The coal mining states of NSW and QLD are also toughing it out, with global coal prices facing much the same challenges as its iron ore sector. However, Queensland coal mining, although slow at this present time, has signs of making a recovery in the not too distant future, with mega-mines in the pipeline.
Galilee Basin Adani mega-mine
Mining companies from overseas are vying to get the first coal out of the ground in new mining regions like the Galilee Basin, which is about 400 kilometres inland from the port of Abbot Point near Mackay. The Galilee Basin is home to massive coal deposits. Some reports have said the coal lying in the Galilee Basin covers a region the size of the United Kingdom – a truly enormous area to mine, when you consider the equipment to be used to extract the resource.
One of the leaders of the development of the Galilee Basin region is Indian based conglomerate Adani. Led by billionaire Gautam Adani, the progressive offshore company has invested billions of dollars in developing its mining assets in Queensland. Their proposed Carmichael mine, will be huge, with a mine life of some 30 years and expected coal exports of 60million tonnes per year, there will be a lot of jobs created, once the project goes ahead.
Adani will be looking for highly skilled, reliable and above all, safe mine site workers. With safety conscious mine managers running the mine, at this stage the preferred contracting company is Downer EDI, only workers with the right mix of qualifications and safety inductions will be considered for jobs.
Enquiries for Standard 11 course flood iMINCO phone lines
iMINCO has been flooded with enquiries from Western Australian mine workers who are preparing to come back to Queensland and take up jobs in the coal mining sector. The reason for the mass of phone calls is the Standard 11.
Queensland has strict regulations, developed by the Queensland government to make mining as safe as possible.
The Standard 11 is a Work Health & Safety course that teaches participants about mine site safety, hazard and risk identification, job assessment, reporting, communications and a whole lot more. There is so much material to cover, the Standard 11 mining induction course takes 2 days in a classroom to complete.
A highly qualified and mine-experienced trainer can only facilitate the course. These are strict guidelines that are enforced by the regulatory authorities in the vocational training industry in Australia.
Under Queensland law, no person can operate or be allowed to work on an active mine site unless they hold a current Standard 11. The qualification is valid for 5 years, with refresher course available for those people who already hold a valid Standard 11 with an expiry date of no more than 6 months.
- General mining overview
- General safety
- Managing workplace hazards
- Risk management
- Isolation and tagging procedures
- Traffic and mobile equipment procedures
- Emergency procedures
- Life saving first aid
- Fire fighting and fire prevention
- The environment
- The work process
Identify, access and use work site communication systems and equipment, carry out work related communication, and complete written documentation.
Completion of the Standard 11 can be credited towards advanced mining training packages such as RII20213 Certificate II in Surface Extraction Operations.
Know your essential keywords
We also see, more and more mining recruiters advertising for its applicants to hold a valid Standard 11 because without it, applications could be flagged as ‘not suitable’ because the Standard 11 is not mentioned in the applicant resume. Mining jobs are fiercely competitive and recruiters can afford to be very choosy who they interview.
In a recent study, iMINCO found that 37% of job applicants for a dump truck operator job in the Queensland mine fields of the Bowen Basin did not have a Standard 11 despite the ad clearly stating it was a requirement.
Disappointed applicants still scratch their head and wonder why they never got a ‘call-back’ from the recruiter.
Recruiters won’t waste their time interviewing applicants who do not have the right qualifications. More often than not, resume scanning software will look through the digital version of a resume and look for words like ‘standard 11’, ‘s11’, ‘mining induction’ and training codes.
Where to from here?
The facts are simple; if you want to work in the Queensland mining industry, whether it be coal, gold, silver, copper, nickel etc, you will need a Standard 11. At this time, the course is not available online, although there is a way to shorten the learning curve.
This allows attendees to get up to speed with the current requirements and on day one of the course, the assessment is reviewed as a group activity – a great way to allow all attendees to collectively pool their knowledge and fine tune their observations. This allows for precise and accurate answers to be recorded by all participants and sets the scene for an engaging 2 days of learning.