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What are the Alternatives to an Apprenticeship?

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.

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.

Graduate Jobs

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.

Trainee Mining Jobs

In order to get a permanent, high-paying job position in the mines, you need to earn a training certificate. Applying for trainee mining jobs provides you with the necessary experience, which is one of the requirements in entering the mining industry. On-the-job training in the mines usually takes 6 months to one year to complete, but it was worth the time and effort. After you finished the course of training, you already gained enough knowledge to start your professional career in the mines.

Finding a Trainee Job in the Mines

One of the best ways to find a trainee mining job is to visit different mining company websites. Most mines and large mining companies have comprehensive lists of trainee positions offered. Apart from the websites, recruitment agencies also take actions in hiring trainee workers for mining companies.

Trainee Mining Jobs

Here is a short list of trainee jobs most mining companies offer:

Shotfirer – learn how to safely carry out blasting and charging activities in the open pit.

Truck Operator – learn how to efficiently transport wastes and ore using an array of dump truck fleet.

Security Officer/ First Aid Provider – acquire knowledge on how to provide security to all the company contractors and employees, as well as learn emergency and first aid response.

Laboratory Technician – learn how to collect ore samples and analyse them.

Process Technician – by training as a process technician, you will learn equipment monitoring and the ins and outs of the processes done within the plant.

Fitter and Turner – this training teaches you machinery repair and maintenance. Your training will cover motors, pumps, and other machinery needed at the mine, as well as in the plant.

Boiler Maker – an apprenticeship certificate is one of the surefire ways to gain experience that will land you a mining job. Before you get accepted as a boiler maker apprentice, you need to undergo physical examination to ensure that you are fit enough for this tough mining job.

Heavy Vehicle Fitter – trainees interested in repairing and maintaining large vehicles, such as trucks, can apply for the heavy vehicle fitter training. Trucks are very important at the mines, and this apprenticeship is a good way to start.

Although most advertised mining positions typically attract applicants who already have skills, mining companies are still looking for fresh new blood to train. Australian mining companies, for instance, are in continuous lookout for unskilled workers willing to be trained.

Taking up a trainee mining job is probably the best way to gain entry to the mining industry. Expect the jobs to be physically and sometimes emotionally challenging. Most positions require thorough physical examinations, especially if you are to work for extended hours or under difficult environment or climate.

Apart from the positions listed above, there are other training jobs available in the mining industry. Various laboring positions like driller assistants, sample preparers, and general labors are also needed. You can also apply as an office staff, a cleaning staff, or a kitchen staff. Even if you are at the lowest position in the industry, you can still climb your way to top, given that you undergo the required training and gain the needed experience.

1st Year Mining Apprenticeships

The mining industry is one of the highest-paying industries today. The employees and staff are getting more than what other industries could offer. Mining companies offer not only high compensations, but also lots of benefits, as well. Aside from these, mining employees are also provided with free board and lodging, high-class amenities, and even free travel expenses for the Fly In, Fly Out positions.

On the other hand, although it is possible to enter the mining industry without any experience, those who have finished their apprenticeships have greater edge. The employment rate in mining industry in Australia has more than doubled its number from 30,00 jobs to 75,000 jobs in 2009. Most of them are professionals and skilled workers.

Getting a mining apprenticeship certificate is probably the best way to get a good position in the industry. Apprenticeship is a good start for many inexperienced or unskilled workers and those who have been out of school for a while may wish to consider a mature aged apprenticeship. The mining industry is divided into different sections: first, the exploration; then the mining and quarrying, and after that, processing follows. Within these sections or processes, a mining company will need human resource to employ all of these.

Primary Job Brackets in the Mining Industry

Job positions for professionals or university-educated. Absolute expertise is needed in some positions, such as mining engineers, geologists and mine managers.

Skilled work. Positions that can be offered to skilled workers include drillers, welders, mechanics, technicians, and boiler makers.

Ticket jobs. Typically temporary in nature, ticket jobs do not require workers to have a lot of experience, but they must be well-knowledgeable in machine operation and related mining work.

How Long Will a Mining Apprenticeship Take?

In general, apprenticeship programs in the mining industry last for 36 to 48 months. The Traineeship, on the other hand, lasts for no more than 24 months. The span of apprenticeship usually depends on the position you are in and the level of expertise you have.

What to Expect During the Apprenticeship Program

All mining apprenticeship programs have more or less the same objective: to train workers who are interested in working at the mines and prevent worker shortages. Technically, an apprenticeship program is held by a college or university in cooperation with a mining company. During the first year, you will be able to learn the basics in the field. At times, you will have to attend lectures for mining technicalities and other subjects covered.

1st year mining apprenticeship programs for mining industry may cover a number of different trainings. Among the usual trainings included are welding, heavy equipment mechanics, electrical trades, millwright trades and machinists. Typically, the college will help you secure an apprenticeship position, sponsor your training and supervise your progress. Nevertheless, the mining company where you take your apprenticeships will also be of your assistance.

Like other job positions in the mining industry, apprentices’ wages are based on some factors. Education, training, competency, experience, and age are the main factors considered when paying an apprentice. Although the pay is not as impressive compared to permanent positions, the apprentices usually end up with high-paying jobs once they finished the program.

Rio Tinto Traineeships

Rio Tinto is today’s world’s leading supplier of iron ore pellets, iron ore and iron ore concentrates, as well as a top producer of high quality pig iron. The company is not only involved in the mining process of extracting the iron ore from the Earth’s surface, but they are also involved in sourcing and processing the iron ore in order to supply their products to today’s global steel market. Working at Rio Tinto can definitely be a long lasting career as their business has a long-life, large and low cost operations and they aim to deliver high quality products without compromising the safety and health of their employees.

A Short Introduction on Rio Tinto

Iron ore is one of the most basic commodities and since many industries make use of steel, it is one of the most used metals around the globe. From bridges to ships, skyscrapers, railways, cars, to even paper clips, iron is definitely one of the major contributing factors to our developing modern world.

Since this is the case, Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore group in Australia, has committed itself in offering traineeships and apprenticeship programs for future employment. The company’s current operations team comprises of not only regular employees, but a generous number of trainees and apprentices as well.

The traineeship program of Rio Tinto includes metal fabrication, mechanical fitting, automotive, electrical, information technology, drafting, and business administration, to name a few. If you are considering applying for the program, make sure that you have the motivation, enthusiasm and you are able to demonstrate interest in your chosen field, for you to have a chance of being accepted. Another requirement of the company are passing grades in secondary education, as well as fitness requirements and check-ups proving that you are fit to work on a mine site.

Although the requirements may vary from one country to the other, as Rio Tinto is a global company, applicants will increase their chances of being accepted if they are able to show their devotion in their chosen field. Since mining apprenticeships and traineeships are usually advertised in newspapers and internally on a regular basis, being updated will no longer be a problem.

How About Rio Tinto Traineeships?

Aside from a focused apprentice training program, Rio Tinto also committed itself in traineeships, in order to provide a skilled workforce for the industry in the future. They even encourage receiving applications from the indigenous members of the community, so that they too may be trained to work in the mines.

Rio Tinto’s Pilbara Operations provide vast opportunities for their trainees, especially when it comes to exposure on the kinds of jobs they will be facing in the near future, as well as developing skills for easier adjustment from one department to the other.

So as long as you have an interest in pursuing a career at the mines, and you are enthusiastic and motivated enough to push yourself in succeeding, then you may want to consider applying for Rio Tinto traineeships.

Finding Apprenticeships In The Mines

For some people getting a job in the Australian mines can seem rather easy, almost like they just walk into it with no real effort. However, for most people who have no experiences working in such an  environment, it can be a real struggle. If you are serious about a medium to long term career in the industry, the good news is that there are mining apprenticeship and traineeship programs offered by most mining companies.

This can be a great way of learning the basics, getting first hand experience on what it is like to work in the mines, as well as getting your foot inside the mining industry. While traineeship programs usually last six to twelve months, apprenticeships in the mines can last as long as two to four years to be completed.

If you want to be considered for an apprenticeship program, you must show your motivation, enthusiasm and interest in your chosen field, as well as present passing grades in secondary education and meet their physical fitness requirements. While detailed requirements may vary from one company to the other, what were stated above are the main key points that you should always keep in mind.

An apprenticeship in the mines you can jump start your career in the industry, as well as give you 2-4 solid years of work. Obviously the salary will be lower at the start, but you will learn that chances for a promotion and increase in the salary will be better as you work longer in the mines. And since apprenticeships are found in most areas of mining employment, you will find that there is most likely an apprenticeship in the field that you are looking to pursue.

How To Get Apprenticeships In The Mines

There are basically four ways of finding and getting in an apprenticeship program in the mining industry, and each one is summarized below:

Know Someone Personally

If you know someone who is working in the mines, you can use it to your advantage since having connections can definitely help you look for jobs and programs offered by mining companies. Since working in the mines can sometimes be comparable to a boy’s club, making the most out of your connections can go a long way.

Search Jobs Websites & Local Newspapers

There are many websites offering job listings and openings of jobs in the mining industry. So if you are interested in getting accepted in an apprenticeship program, make sure that you check out these websites on a regular basis.

Mining Recruitment Companies

If you think you will be needing help in applying for an apprenticeship program, you may want to strongly consider getting help from mining recruitment agencies, since they have all the connections in different mining sectors, as well as focus on hiring skilled laborers for the mines.

Contact Mining Companies Directly

Aside from the three options mentioned above, the last method of getting an apprenticeship involves directly contacting the mining company of your choice. Since most companies nowadays have their own websites, you can check out their employment section and see if there are openings and apprenticeship programs available.

This can be a good option if you are looking to apply for a mature aged apprenticeship because there is less likelihood of you getting lost in a sea of younger applicants.

Finding apprenticeships in the mines can sometimes feel like a never ending battle but if you are committed to getting an apprenticeship, have a solid resume and make use of as many of the 4 strategies above, you will give yourself the best opportunity.

Mining Apprenticeships In Australia

Getting a job in the Australian mines is be quite difficult, especially since with the increase in demand for the workforce in the industry the quantity of interested job seekers has also increase.

However, if you still have no experience working in the mines, then a mining apprenticeship or traineeship is a option worth considering that can put you above the rest of the competition. The difference between apprenticeship and traineeship lies in the duration of the training period. While traineeships lasts only around six to twelve months, mining apprenticeships requires two to four years in the industry, both working and studying for completion.

Australia is well known for its rich mineral resources, making mining one of the biggest sectors in the country, so the mining industry creates a lot of jobs for the country’s workforce. The good news is that not all of the jobs available require previous experience and qualifications for interested applicants to apply. So if you have any plans of applying for some jobs in the mines but are having second thoughts because you feel incompetent due to your lack of experience, you may wish to consider an apprenticeship as your stepping stone in the industry.

What are the Requirements?

There are many different mining apprenticeships available in Australia and while some are not strict when it comes to qualifications and requirements, there are also companies that ask for specific requirements from interested applicants.

To be considered by some companies’ apprenticeship programs, applicants must be enthusiastic, motivated and show much interested in whatever field they have chosen. Other requirements that most companies ask are high school certificates, as well as meeting physical fitness requirements.

Mining Apprenticeships What Opportunities are Available?

There are different fields that an applicant can choose from, and below are just some of the highlighted opportunities in the mining sector which may be interesting to a lot of people aspiring to work in the mines – by starting with an apprenticeship.

Fitter and Turner

If you would like to learn how to tinker and fix machineries, such as pumps and motors, then a fitter and turner apprenticeships might be what you are looking for. The regular maintenance and repair of big machines can take place both on the mine site or in the mill processing plant.

Boiler Maker

Anyone who is planning to gain first hand experience in the mines should consider boiler maker apprenticeship. One of the requirements for this type of training would be of being in good physical shape, plus a doctor’s exam and approval of being physically healthy.

Heavy Vehicle Fitter

The mining industry basically revolves around big machineries such as dump trucks and back hoes. Without these trucks, the mining industry will cease to exist. If anyone has any plans of working and repairing these huge pieces of equipment, then heavy vehicle fitter apprenticeship is the best option.

The truth is, there are many apprenticeship opportunities available in the mining sector, and it is up to applicants to look for which they think will suit them the best.