Mining, Gas & Oil
The crown of the work style in the Pilbara. Get a job with Rio/BHP/Woodside and you are set until retirement! well maybe not quite these days but there are a lot of benefits attached to working for them. Subsidised housing, schooling, financial benefits, social and employment support. It is not unusual to start a temp job with them and find yourself still there 20 years later.
The beauty of construction is the big dollars. The downside is that it can be weeks away from your family, long working days, very hot environment and often staying in camps in remote areas. But this life builds it's own camaraderie. You create friendships that last. You do not have to worry about rent, food, or cleaning, or any of the mundane daily life issues. Just get in and get your job done.
There are many businesses who support the mining giants. From catering staff to mechanical services to training providers and support staff such as taverns and pubs, medical staff for inductions and bus drivers.
Sometimes this is the first step to working for the bigger companies as it is. Think of your current skill set and where you can enter the industry and work your way across.
Geographically the Pilbara Region in Western Australia is a very unique place.
It is not only renowned for its historical and cultural diversity, beautiful scenery, beaches and fishing, but most importantly the heartland of the Resource Industry. Natural industry supplies from Ore, Liquified Natural Gas, Gold, Salt, Manganese, Tin, Nickel, Copper, Alumina, Lead, Cobalt and Zinc to name just a few.
With the development of West Australian Industry, there became a need for businesses to service and supply the needs of both the local communities in the area and resource sectors.
Due to the resource boom, creating employment opportunities for those industries or businesses has now become an Australian and Global wide necessity as local supply cannot meet increased demand.
The Resource Industry as well as the business sector - owner operator, is very diverse and using the examples above you will note companies specialising in or producing a particular product. There are therefore a number of different divisions in the industry that need to be explored.
First, Get to know what they are and than decide what industry or business best suits you, for example Construction or Production. Don't Forget offshore with Oil Rigs.
Be a Contractor or Client.
The difference being a contractor who subcontracts, fixed term contract, works for someone else.
The client is the overarching control of the facility who sells the goods to make money. Companies such as Woodside, BHP, Rio Tinto.
Different Job Positions and what they mean.
Project stage: Once planning approval has been given by the appropriate authorities, the client and the nominated contractor can than set about to proceed with the construction (Build facet) or first stage of the project.
This would also include the employment of the relevant staff required to undertake the Project.
Breaks ground and prepares the area. This may include a number of things. Site preparation for concrete footings, concrete pads, plinths, ground works for general road infrastructure, buildings and underground services.
Installation of steel work or modules
Pipes into racks, installation of flooring, machinery. Electrical wiring.
Of machinery and electrical components and instrumentations, parts of the plant, workings, motors, product systems, gas trains, crushers, etc.
Includes mainly a commissioning crew of specialised personnel, Electricians, Instrumentation technicians and mechanical engineers.
This is a set time frame for a production facility service, refurbishment and scheduled maintenance. Only casual employment but can lead to more permanent fields of work.
Involves the actual mining of raw material whether it be open cut or underground.
Trucks carting material to the processing plant and shipping and transport facilities all need people to operate the facility.
Gas plant, refineries or gold smelters turning raw material into something tangible to be sold.
Trade certification and qualifications.
Some skill sets can cover a variety of employment opportunities.
However verification of competency may be required before arriving on site e.g. Crane drivers Riggers, EWP's, welders.
So you want to get a job 'in the mines' do you?
Want the glamorous fly in fly out lifestyle, travel away from home make the big bucks? Oh yes, the money is number one reason for sure.
Well, it isn't that easy as you and 35,000 others are all thinking the same thing on the same day.
So what makes you stand out from the crowd, why should they hire you and not Big Bob next door?
There is a lot to make you different, and they are very easy steps. They won't cost a lot of money and can streamline your fast track process.
Tickets, Tickets and then get your tickets.
Don't just search the net, find a company and submit a resume. !!!
Working in the city and your resume states 'works hard, will do anything'. Forget it!
Companies receive 50 a day like this and they end up in the trash can on someone's desktop. Not worth printing to throw in the bin.
A new project in the North West employing 300 people will likely receive 2000 job applications once advertised. Those in the know already have been hand picked as they have the experience and the reputation. It is only the fill in jobs that the companies search the many resumes they receive.
Go and get your tickets.. (did I already say that?)
Construction - first is white card/blue card/construction card/HAT card. All means the same thing. The White Card is recognised nationally. This is a prelude to specific site inductions.
Don't be vague, Aim at your job specification. Narrow the odds
There are thousands of Trade Assistants (TAs) out there but as you go through the trades, there are fewer qualified people so the more tickets you get the better the chances that they will pick you.
Below are listed qualifications while not necessary, If you get them will be the most beneficial. Remember come tax time, they are all tax deductible.
Qualifications to get you noticed:
- Police Clearance
- Full medical - drug free
- National Construction White Card
- Driver’s license - hard work if you don’t have one of these.
- Bus/Truck license - handy to drive the guys from camp to site and extra $$ if you do.
- MSIC - Maritime Security ID card. Absolutely necessary if you are working on a jetty or sites on the coast with any form of shipping. ASIC is the equivalent for Airservices/airport.
- Marcsta card - Mining and Resources Contractors Safety Training Association. This was around a few years ago but no longer required and site inductions have replaced it.
- Any First Aid Training is of benefit
- OHS - Certificate IV is well worth the extra effort.
- Any of the levels of Rigging, Dogman, Crane operations, Forklift
- Operators such as Dump Truck, Dozer, Scrapers, etc.
- Confined space, Working at Heights, Rigging, Scaffolding, EWP, Forklift etc.
The old days had camps in the middle of nowhere, working 6 weeks on and 1 week off. Lucky if your room had air conditioning, let alone a fridge that worked for the cold beer.
These days it is more like a resort than a mining camp.
Rooms are fully self contained with furniture, TV, bed linen, sometimes with a laundry but usually the laundry is share. There is usually a pool and a gym complete with Lifestyle Coordinator, well set up Mess (dining hall) with usually 5 choices on offer. People still complain about the food but would never eat this well at home.
A tavern of some description with a mini shop for the forgotten toothbrush, perhaps an internet room or possibly a data wireless service for you to hook into.
Not roughing it anymore. So with all your basic needs take care of, you are able to work the 10-12 hours a day expected of you. Usually a bus service will take you to and from work, crib rooms at site.
Unless you are a great pub person, limit yourself to a couple of beers a night and cut loose on your day off. Getting plastered and blowing a shift doesn't help anyone.