Mining skills centre attempts to halt mining job attrition

The Mining Industry Skills Centre has launched a new course designed to provide mining job seekers a better understanding of life in the industry.

Dubbed ‘Drill Down’, the course looks at everything from terminology and accommodation issues through to shift working and dealing with isolation, to familiarise potential miners with the reality of the industry.

Derek Hunter, head of the Skills Centre, said the current attrition rate of mining is believed to be more than $140 million in associated costs annually.

"Of the estimated 9,500 people leaving organisations within the sector each year 18.4% had commenced their employment in the last 12 months," Hunter said.

"Our research suggests that reasons for leaving the sector after such a short time are all around employee expectations not being met, whether it’s due to job fit, working conditions, geographic location or inadequate support.

"We believe that this course will go some way to informing potential employees of the realities of life on a mine site and also help industry reduce the attrition rate."

Held over one day, it covers ‘expectations and reality’; ‘working life and daily routine’; family, relationships, and lifestyle’; and ‘managing financial temptation’.

Once completed, participants work with the course facilitator to create a portfolio for mining job applications.

Skills Centre general manager – research and development, Deb Jones, said their research team has spent months collating information necessary for job seekers.

"The information presented in this course has been specifically crafted with job seekers in mind. If you’ve never had a job in the mines and you are keen to take advantage of the resources boom, this course will help answer your questions before you move forward," she said.

However, Hunter did state that the course does not guarantee a job, but aims to help the industry in finding the best candidates for further training and potential jobs.

"Our industry is experiencing a massive skills shortage -30,000 jobs over the next five years- however we need to ensure we’re finding the people best suited for those jobs.

"This obviously requires skilling and training, but first and foremost it requires an understanding of the landscape you’ll be operating in – both professionally and personally," he said.

New analysis of upcoming resource and infrastructure projects in Western Australia indicates a desperate need for workers to fill job vacancies.

The analysis comes amid new figures from the Bureau of Statistics showing while job creation across Australia was falling, the shortage in Western Australia and Queensland was still acute.

Goldfields-Esperance Workforce Development Alliance president Ron Mosby told the Kalgoorlie Miner the projects meant there would be about 10,000 job vacancies in the area in 2012.


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