The Australian mining industry has boomed despite the recent economic recession, due to the increase in demand for valuable metals. The mining sector basically, includes businesses that extract naturally occurring minerals such as ores and coals; liquid minerals including crude petroleum; and gases such as methane and natural gas. The mining term is used in the broadest sense to pertain to open cut and underground mining, quarrying, recovery from tailings and ore dumps, as well as different beneficiation processes, that are all done at the mine site or as parts of various mining activities.
The growth of the mining sector only means an increase in the labor and workforce needed by the industry. Since there is a shortage in the number of skilled workers fit for the jobs at the mines, a lot of companies are more than willing to offer apprenticeships for people of all ages. There are even numerous mature aged apprenticeships, to give people who are 30 years and over to have a career change if they want to.
As of 2006, over 33 percent of the total number of apprentices in Australia were aged 19, while 27 percent were people of ages 20 to 24. Mature apprentices on the other hand, comprised of 12 percent of people of ages 30 to 39, and 5.8 percent were 40 and over. There are a number of factors driving older people into undertaking apprenticeships programs, and this includes the shortage in the number of skilled workers in the mining industry.
Companies also take into consideration the advantage of having a mix of both old and young people in the workplace. There is also a high dropout among young apprentices in their first two years in the program, which makes companies prefer mature aged apprentices more.
Companies Offering Mature Aged Apprenticeships
Two of the mining companies that strongly encourage mining apprentices to enroll to their programs are Byrnecut and Barminco. They offer equal opportunities in the mining industry, both to young and mature aged workers.
The two companies focus on providing valuable hands on experience to their apprentices together with mining professionals, so that the former will have an idea of what to experience at the mines and how to deal with different problems and issues. Together with the on the job training experience, apprentices will be able to develop underpinning skills and knowledge that are required for conducting overhaul, repair, service, and even fault finding in a specific area.
Plant mechanics, boilermaker and fabrication, auto electricians and light vehicle mechanics are just some of the mining apprenticeship programs offered by the two mining companies. As they recognize each person’s natural ability plus their knowledge and experience in their previous career, the companies aim in developing their workforce for more efficient and economically viable mining processes.
Both young and mature aged apprentices that excel in the program have the option of fast-tracking their apprenticeship time to get a competitive job in the mining sector.
Mature aged apprenticeships are highly encouraged nowadays, especially in Australia’s mining industry, because of the shortage in skilled workers. So if you have plans of changing careers at the age of 30, you should strongly consider this option.