A lot of people whether they are just out of school or considering a mature aged apprenticeship, see becoming an apprentice or completing a traineeship as the only option when wanting to enter the mining industry.
It is seen as a way to set the platform for a long-term mining career and the only way to get the experience that almost all mining jobs seem to require.
Is it Your Only Option?
Searching for a job (especially unskilled) in the industry can be extremely disheartening, so this kind of thinking does hold some merit – but are there any other options?
Before you make the decision to find a mining apprenticeship, here are a few other mining industry entry points you may wish to consider.
Entry Level Positions
These are the jobs that everyone seems to be looking for, and while you will hear a lot of people complaining about it being impossible to actually get one, there are still a lot of ‘green’ applicants getting jobs.
However, to get these positions (usually labourers, trade assistants and warehouse workers) you have to be really persistent, go the extra mile in contacting companies and in a lot of cases you have to personally move out to one of the mining communities.
If you are looking for entry level work in the mines then check this link for a list of labour hire companies. They can be a great first step into the mining industry.
Service Based Jobs
Probably not the type of jobs you are looking for, but there are a lot of jobs being created to service all the workers at mine camps. These are usually positions such as cleaners, cooks and kitchen hands, and you usually stay on site an there is the opportunity for a FIFO position.
If you are looking for a long-term career and completed your HSC, you may wish to look into completing a university degree in a field that is sought after in the resource industry. Degrees in geology and (mine related) engineering can provide both exciting and financially lucrative opportunities – and a lot of the larger mining companies offer graduate programs for people about to complete their final year or those who have just finished their university degree. These graduate opportunities are usually offered on a yearly basis.
Still Prefer an Apprenticeship?
Now that you know you options, if you still think an apprenticeship is the best path for you to follow, then here are a few tips that might help you out.
- Find Out Companies That Have Apprenticeship Programs
Just like the graduate programs for university graduates, a lot of the major mining companies also have apprenticeship programs that they take expressions of interest for on a yearly basis.This usually happens around the middle of the year (for the following year), and if it is currently a different time of year, then do a search of companies that usually offer these programs and save them to check back on later.
- Apply To Them Early
Bookmark the websites, or save them all to a file on your computer. Check back on them regularly and when they start to take expressions of interest, apply early. They will most likely get a lot of interest and may close the offer early – so this ensures you at least get considered.
- Keep an Eye on The Job Sites
Smaller companies that service the large miners can be a great source of apprenticeships. Instead of listing opportunities on their websites, these companies will most likely either use a registered recruitment and training company or list the jobs themselves – either way you will usually find these apprenticeships on the major job websites.