Mining is once again experiencing a skills and labour shortage. The jobs are there, but since the downturn in 2008, many workers have moved into city-based jobs, or have different family obligations.
That’s left a gap. Many people wanting to get into the mining industry are stuck for where to start – which is where a recruiter can offer solid guidance and connections. We spoke with Aston candidate Josh about his career and experience finding entry level mining jobs in WA.
Making your way into the mining industry isn’t as simple as showing up and signing up. In entry level mining jobs, without experience, demonstrating a strong work ethic is everything.
Josh was connected to a role as a Driller’s Offsider through Aston People Advantage.
“Before I landed this job, I’d had a few others, working in blind-fitting and as a brickies labourer,” Josh says. “There are some people who prefer, sort of a cruisy job, but that’s not me. I like to work, do the more physical stuff, heavy lifting.”
While his previous roles weren’t on the mines, they are still relevant to many entry level mining jobs.
“After I talked to (Aston) about the job and they explained what’s involved, I knew it was for me.”
Before coming to Aston, a previous job in furniture removal was a good indication he’d be able to keep up with a physically demanding role and long hours of many entry level mining jobs.
“As a Driller’s Offsider, it’s pretty average to be working a 12 hour day, but you have to be prepared if it goes a little longer,” he says.
Experience counts, but so does staying open to feedback and keeping an interest in on-the-job learning. Being good under the hood of a car can help to carry out remote fixes to keep operations going.
“You’ll learn that there might be five or six ways to get something done. Each driller might have their own way and reason why. Knowing and remembering each of the ways just makes everything run heaps smoother.”
With entry level mining jobs, Josh mentions one of the most important skills is to be flexible with the way you work. “You need to keep an open mind, to always be ready to learn.”
Josh’s tips for first-timers in an entry level mining job:
1- When you’re looking to get on site, or are between hires, talk to your recruiter and and answer the phone when they call. They are there to help you through this.
2 – Swap an ill-fitting uniform straight away. Your site might supply PPE, but if the pants are a ‘bit annoying’ now, it’ll be a nightmare for an entire swing.
3 – Get the most comfortable, high quality shoes you can. You’re on your feet for 12-13 hours a shift, it’s also worth getting some cushioned insoles and good, thick socks.
4- Treat your body well. Don’t hit the gym hard when you’re on site, your job is your gym. Rest and sleep are important to stay healthy.
5 – Check in with a physio / chiro when you’re on RnR. It helps your body condition to the role and helps prevent injury.
6 – Be prepared to sacrifice family time. A FIFO or DIDO roster means you will miss things like birthdays and anniversaries – but making a call or sending a card can help you stay connected.
For entry level mining opportunities, contact the Aston Advantage team.