News

Is making fast, big bucks in the mines just a myth?

Contributed

Advice on how to get into the mining industry

IS it a genuine get-rich-quick strategy or an urban myth? For a decade now, people across Australia - especially in the urban centres - have been hearing stories about workers with zero experience getting jobs at the mines and making a fortune.

A quick Google search shows advertisements for mining jobs with no experience required, although a few more clicks on the mouse often lead nowhere.

To what extent is it true that the average Joe, with no experience, can get a big-paying job at the mines?

Hays senior regional director Simon Bristow agreed the idea was more myth than reality, saying good jobs at mines didn't come without a solid professional background.

Hays is a recruiting giant, placing skilled workers in a variety of industries, including mining.

While Mr Bristow said it was wrong to think just anyone could walk into highly-paid job at the mines, he agreed that didn't necessarily mean there were no opportunities for people trying to benefit from jobs around mining.

"I think there is some truth in it, in that if you are prepared to move to the Bowen Basin, for example, you will get a job," he said.

What Mr Bristow means is don't just look at the mines themselves - look at all the opportunities in mining communities, since mines drive economic activity in their local area.

But when it comes to the jobs on big cash in the mines, Mr Bristow said experience was the key.

"Most mining companies are going to look for two years' experience," he said

But workers without experience on a mine site can still get a foot in the door in lower positions, if they have transferable skills from another industry - civil construction being one example.


I think there is some truth in it, in that if you are prepared to move to the Bowen Basin, for example, you will get a job

The emphasis on transferable skills is shared by Get a Mining Job co-founder Myles Walder, who said although there was no quick way to get a highly paid job at a mine, skills from other industries could be utilised.

Mr Walder and a couple of friends in the mining industry launched the Get a Mining Job website to provide information and advice for people trying to get into the industry.

The website is a free service and its founders run it as volunteers, while working their day jobs at the mines.

Mr Walder is a safety training provider.

He said there were ways of gradually getting started in the industry, but the new Aussie dream of leaving the suburbs and walking straight into a $150K-a-year job without experience was unrealistic.

"It depends what you want to do (at the mines)," he said.

"The biggest part of the myth is that people think you can just go out and get a great job (instantly)."

Mr Walder said there were "unskilled" jobs at the mines, but when he talked about unskilled opportunities, there was still an emphasis on having proven oneself in other fields, such as construction, operation or heavy vehicles.

The classic mining job for a worker with construction experience is to become a tradies' assistant.

"There is a lot of work for people with experience in labour-intensive backgrounds, such as (job opportunities in) drilling and others like that," he said.

Mr Walder knows as well as anyone that the dream job in mining will not come instantly. He started at the bottom in the drilling industry, after a career as a qualified plasterer.

Some people in the suburbs seem to believe any qualified tradesman can walk into a highly-paid job at the mines, but Mr Walder worked for about $70,000 when he started - which didn't happen overnight.

 

Biloela engineer Heather Parry has won the 2011 Queensland Resources Council Resources Award for Women.
Biloela engineer Heather Parry has won the 2011 Queensland Resources Council Resources Award for Women.


Advice on how to get into the mining industry


HE had some basic advice for inexperienced job-seekers trying to get into the mines.

First of all, don't just apply for everything. Try to pick a specific field and work towards breaking into that field. Do not simply apply for every mining job under the sun.

Mr Walder said by forming a specific focus, job-hunters would gradually learn more about the requirements of that area and could improve their chances as they continued with new efforts.

He said getting a start in the mines was like using a jackhammer to punch a hole through a concrete wall - if you apply the jackhammer all over the wall, you won't make much progress.

But if you apply the jackhammer continuously in one spot, you will eventually make a hole.

Mr Bristow said when people were trying to get a job in the mines, they should think carefully about which type of job was best for them.

He said there was an image in most people's minds of a job surrounded by coal dust at the bottom of a pit - but he said there were all sorts of professions needed in mines and in the communities surrounding them.

Again, looking at your own experience allows you to connect your transferable skills to a job. Around mines, there are job vacancies in cleaning, hospitality, admin, accounting ... the list goes on.

Mr Walder's final piece of advice is as much about life as it is about mining.

He said although many people wanted to break in to the industry for the money, their dreams were destined for failure unless they thought carefully about their families and social lives.

He said it could be a lonely world in the mine fields - and sometimes big money didn't make up the difference.

Topics:  editors picks, employment, jobs, mining, resources


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Bribie Island State School looks to go independent

INDEPENDENT FORUM: Principal Pete Keen with fourth graders Jack Barnett and Kya Dulhuntry.

Bribie Island State School is thinking of going independent.

4000 child porn images not enough to jail ex-teacher

The court heard the offending took place during a 10-day period last year.

Woolworths, Target post massive losses, write-downs

Hundreds of jobs expected to go as retailers hit by hard times

Latest deals and offers

No jail time for former teacher caught with child porn

A FORMER teacher who had more than 4000 child porn files on his computer – including images of children tied to beds – has escaped spending time behind bars

Bribie Island State School looks to go independent

INDEPENDENT FORUM: Principal Pete Keen with fourth graders Jack Barnett and Kya Dulhuntry.

Bribie Island State School is thinking of going independent.

4000 child porn images not enough to jail ex-teacher

The court heard the offending took place during a 10-day period last year.

Woolworths, Target post massive losses, write-downs

Hundreds of jobs expected to go as retailers hit by hard times

Injured Redcliffe man goes missing

Police are attempting to locate Dylan Baldwin, who was last seen in Redcliffe on August 25, 2016.

The 20-year-old was last seen August 25 around 3am in Redcliffe.

Valiants guitar legend and granddad dies midflight

GONE TOO SOON: Keith Barton passed out mid-flight to Manchester and died two days later.

Family's shock as grandad dies mid-flight

Die-hard fan's 34 magic Gympie Muster years

STICK AROUND FOR A BEER: Mal Williams has been at every Gympie Muster for 34 years.

Mal Williams has only missed one Muster in 35 years - the first one

Why Depp and Heard are fighting again

Amber Heard is furious over Depp taking advantage of her generosity

Kim Kardashian West steals hotel bath robes

Even Kim Kardashian steals bath robes from hotels, don't feel bad

Johnny Depp 'deeply respects' Amber Heard

Celebrity

Amber Heard gives away $7 million settlement to charity

Die-hard fan's 34 magic Gympie Muster years

STICK AROUND FOR A BEER: Mal Williams has been at every Gympie Muster for 34 years.

Mal Williams has only missed one Muster in 35 years - the first one

John Williamson winding up for another Gympie Muster

John Williamson is bringing some new songs and artists to this year's Muster.

John Williamson is back and ready to put on his best show ever

The true cost of 60 Minutes debacle revealed

It's a bill that would make even a silk tied barrister blush

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.