Komatsu recruitment drive looks to mining’s future

The equipment manufacturer wants to make company and mining industry an attractive career choice for a next era of workers. Australian Mining writes.

Mining, construction and utilities company Komatsu has launched its biggest ever recruitment drive to employ technicians across Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.

The highly structured campaign, which Komatsu believes is the most targeted ever in the industry, intends to identify technicians who want to be part of the machinery sector and take advantage of global opportunities.

Komatsu is conducting the campaign in regional areas to overcome industry negatives of family dislocation and concerns about job longevity, which are traditionally associated with fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) operations.

Suitably-qualified recruits will be offered careers close to their homes in an effort to achieve a satisfying work-life balance.

The campaign comes on the back of a rapid upturn in mining, utilities and construction after a period in which the industries had been left with a skills shortage, especially amongst the next generation of technicians.

Komatsu has identified related industries such as the military, marine and aeronautics, as well as the passenger vehicle and light and heavy commercial vehicle sectors, as catchment areas for potential candidates.

The OEM aims to create an inclusive and diverse workforce that will collectively work towards developing new and innovative ideas that sustain the company’s future.

Its GPS-based Komtrax system, Smartconstruction programs and aspects of its Information Communications Technology (ICT) protocols are examples of innovation that have achieved industry-leading standards.

Komatsu executive general manager people and strategy, Colin Shaw, says the days of a machinery technician being reliant on a spanner and mechanical have passed the industry by for a more innovative technology future.

“Mobile technology is the new tool of choice for trouble shooting diagnosis and improving the productivity of our intelligent machines,” Shaw says.

Komatsu also plans to increase the number of females in its workforce as part of a diversity and business growth strategy.

The company runs an in-house training academy spanning a multitude of applications, including high technology machinery and business programs.

Shaw says part of the recruitment drive is based on providing applicants with upskilling opportunities which can turn into life-ling careers.

“Skills gained in the Komatsu system are valued in the open market and are transferable to other occupations, although it is our intention not to lose people we’ve trained,” Shaw says.

Komatsu aims to maintain its status as an employer of choice throughout the campaign, with the new recruits set to join more than 3000 people already working for the company.

Internal polling at the company found that the company tests highly as an employer of choice amongst its current employees and those seeking to join.

“Family values and a culture of inclusion have become a hallmark of Komatsu employment,“ Shaw adds.

Komatsu’s initial recruits from the campaign have been both successful and unusual so far.

Qualified jeweller Alex Henley-Baker, 25, has made a complete career switch to become a first-year electrical apprentice at Komatsu.

“Electrical engineering has become the future of all industry,” Henley-Baker says. “A Komatsu qualification allows me to go anywhere in the world, most likely with the same company.”

This article appears in the November 2018 issue of Australian Mining.

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