By Kate Southam
Australia is a small place and the mining boom is huge so not surprisingly many of us know someone who has “gone to the mines” according to new research.
A survey carried out by one of Australia’s largest recruitment firms, Hays, found almost half of its respondents knew someone who made a career U turn to take a bite out of Australia’s mining boom.
The survey of 606 people across Australia found 31.9 per cent of people knew someone who had moved directly into the resources sector and 16.5 per cent who joined an employer providing a product or service to the mining sector.
Senior regional director of Hays Resources & Mining Simon Winfield says mining is reshaping the labour market and will continue to do so for years to come.
“This is not a short-term bubble. For example, BHP Billiton recently announced that Australia's resources industry would need an extra 170,000 workers in the next five years,” Mr Winfield says.
“It’s not only engineers or other technical experts who can benefit from the resources boom. Those organisations servicing the resources and mining industry have a range of opportunities, from accountancy to office support, procurement to logistics.
Mr Winfield says that as the resources industry’s hunger for skilled people will also create vacancies for a broad range of workers including white collar workers too. Those with any experience in the resources sector whether that is accounting or technical work would remain in hot demand.
He says those wanting to break into the resources sector should talk to people already working in the sector if they can. His other tips include:
* Carrying out online research such as industry websites and employer websites such as the Mining Industry Skills Centre – www.miskillscentre.com.au/ The Mining Industry Skills Centre has also just developed a day-long course for job hunters to educate them on the realities of life in the mining industry. To learn more go to http://www.drilldownmining.com.au/
* Gain mining industry experience in a related role. Most resources employers want experienced people who can hit the ground running. So if you are in accountancy, office support, legal or OH&S target roles that exposure you to the resources industry or clients in the sector.
* To gain a technical role with a mining company, such as geologist, engineer or project manager, you’ll need the appropriate tertiary qualifications. Recent graduates can look for internships with a mining company. Those with experience in another industry, such as construction, should look for an employer that will consider those wanting to break into the mining industry. In such cases, you’ll need to demonstrate a genuine desire to work in the industry.
* Qualified tradespeople should find out what other tickets you may need.
* If you want to change careers, you’ll need to either up-skill or return to study. In this case, speak to a recruiter about the skills in most demand by mining companies.
* Be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up from an entry-level role.
* Be prepared to work away from home. Many roles involve working in remote locations, so be aware of the personal implications of either relocating or a fly-in, fly-out roster.
* Find out what tickets, vehicle licences or qualifications are required for a role in your field in the resources and mining industry. For example, do you need to undergo safety training?
CareerOne.com.au, January 1, 2012.