Mining Human Resources & Career Guidance News

Gail Rogers

Gail Rogers, Senior Consultant, Career Services and HR Consulting (MPi).

Mining myth busting: 4 false claims about mining jobs shattered

myths-about-mining

Recent media reports perpetuate old myths about mining jobs. So what’s the truth? We shatter four common myths and explain the reality.

It’s time for a bit of straight talk about mining careers in the Australian mining industry.

Recently a few articles, like this one, have appeared in the media, featuring parents warning their children off choosing a career in mining.

Not only is this “advice” limiting to any young man or woman’s career options, it’s also simply not based on fact. What’s more, these false propositions can be easily refuted.

If you or someone you know has been put off a FIFO job or mining career because of the issues mentioned in these articles, or is reconsidering their career options thinking mining is some terrible hellscape, then hopefully you can use this article can allay any concerns.

Today, we’re myth busting.

FALSE PROPOSITION #1

There are no jobs in mining

Reality

Mining is a cyclical industry, and the number of employees in the industry has dropped from the heady boom days of the mid-2000s.

According to SEEK, new job advertisements in mining and resources across Australia are up 21.7% from January 2018 to January 2019.

Here at Mining People we are seeing an increase in the requests for skilled labour and know several companies that have started sponsoring key roles within their business.

Further reading: Australia to be critical minerals powerhouse

FALSE PROPOSITION #2

Resources is definitely not technology focused

Reality

From autonomous trucks and trains, to autonomous assay laboratories, sensor-based sorting and solar power, the mining industry has embraced technology and change.

In many instances the mining industry has actually led the way in introducing technology to improve safety, production and cost management. 

Some examples include;

Here’s another relevant article that, although posted in 2013, provides a great overview of how and where mining companies not only are embracing technology, but in many instances are leading the way.

Further Reading: How a residential mining job could fast-track your career.

Australian mining has embraced technology, putting FIFO careers at the forefront of modern tech.
Australian mining has embraced technology, putting FIFO careers at the forefront of modern tech.

FALSE PROPOSITION #3

You have to live in the middle of nowhere (but it’s not forever)

Reality

With few mines located close to major cities, there will be a requirement to work remotely. However, a large number of mining operations are FIFO.

University graduates specialising in a mining discipline will need some site experience. Graduates are likely to be working a FIFO roster that will see them home every other weekend. But as a graduate, why wouldn’t you want to immerse yourself into your chosen career, and live and work in a mining town for a few years to really understand the industry?

Later in your career you will likely secure a mining job that is capital city based that will require irregular travel to site.

Mining is evolving and it is likely in the coming years the need for people to be site based will decrease. The mining graduates and employees of tomorrow will likely be working remote from the workplace, rather than remote from home.

Also, mining is not the only career that requires employees to “work in the middle of nowhere”, but it is one of the few that covers all expenses while you are out there — and one of the few that flies you home regularly.

And, hey, what if you actually like it? For some, the middle of nowhere is a fantastic place to be. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

Further Reading: What’s it like living in Kalgoorlie?

FIFO jobs of the future.
Mining is evolving and it is likely in the coming years the need for people to be site-based will decrease.

FALSE PROPOSITION #4

Mining is not “green” or environmentally friendly

Reality

Have any of the people who believe this ever reviewed the regulations and licensing requirements for a mine to operate in Australia? That’s not to mention the ongoing checks, reports and submissions to a variety of government departments.

Obviously there are always companies that could have done a better job from an environmental perspective in the past, but in Australia at least, operations are governed by regulations and legislation – and most companies not only comply, but are very keen to do the right thing by the environment.

Plenty of reasons to choose a career in mining

There are a lot of positives and negatives to choose any industry for a future career. As a careers’ professional, I recommend researching the future prospects of several industries 

For those with high school age children looking for a place to start, this is a great resource set up by the Australian Government.

Want to talk about your mining career with us? Get in touch.