Surge in Standard 11 mining induction enquiries as WA iron ore mining operations slow down
The iron ore price downturn has started to affect many mine workers who were once happy to fly-in-fly-out into the remote iron ore mines of WA. These jobs are now becoming more and more challenging to hold on to because of the $60 a tonne mark, iron ore is experiencing in the first quarter of 2015.
WA mining companies feel the squeeze
WA mining companies are 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.
QLD 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 tie up 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 111. The qualification is valid for 5 years, with a Standard 11 refresher course available for those people who already hold a valid Standard 11 with an expiry date of no more than 6 months.
The Standard 11 course includes
- RIIRIS201B† Conduct Local Risk Control
Hazard ID,† control and risk assessment and in a mining environment.
- RIIERR302A Respond to Local Emergencies†and incidents
Prepare and respond to emergencies in a mine environment.
- RIIGOV201A Comply with Site Work Processes / Procedures
Access and apply site safety procedures, apply personal safety measures, maintain personal well-being, and complete relevant reports and forms.
- RIIOHS201A Work Safely and Follow WHS Policies and Procedures†(Requires sign off )
Working safely and follow WHS policies and procedures, accessing and apply site safety procedures; applying personal safety measures and operational safety measures; maintaining personal well being for job; and identifying and reporting incidents.
- RIIERR205A Apply Initial Response First Aid
Assess the situation, apply basic first aid and complete incident reports.
- RIICOM201A Communicate in the Workplace
Identify, access and use work site communication systems and equipment, carry out work related communication, and complete written†documentation.
Fitness for work – the Coal Board Medical
In addition to the Standard 11, a Coal Board Medical examination is a requirement for all workers in the QLD mining sector. This is to assess the fitness for work of all mine workers.
There is also a more frequent requirement for workers to be tested for drugs and alcohol. These tests can also occur randomly at any mine site, so workers should be aware of the no-tolerance for this type of drug and alcohol abuse.
Standard 11 keyword is absolutely required on resumes
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 hold 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..do you know why?
Recruiters won’t waste their time interviewing applicants who do not possess 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 such as ‘RIIRIS201B‘, ‘RIIOHS201A‘ – so before a human will ever see a resume, it will fail the first test.
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. iMINCO, in partnership with mining RTO Industry Pathways have developed a pre-reading package and assessment for the Standard 11.
This easy-to-follow material is sent to all Standard 11 course attendees about a week before they attend the face-to-face class.
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.