How to get a job on a mine site in Australia
If you don’t know anyone to get you in, get your foot in the kitchen door !
You’ve just arrived in Australia, ready for the backpacking experience. You expect it to be fun and easy especially because of a mate who has been there before and told you that it ‘s easy to get a job picking fruits or working in bars, restaurants…
Then, you put your bag in a crappy but cheap hostel… You notice that your cheap hostel in India was still more hygienic than this one… Interesting : Twelve people in a dormitory… You had never heard about bed bugs before… well, you will but hey, that’s part of the experience.
First time in an Australian supermarket and you realize that even if you feed yourself off instant noodles, your savings are not going to last long if you don’t get a job… Anyway, you quickly start to meet people : some already have a job (hope!), some are still looking for one… « – What ? You’ve been looking for a job for 2 weeks ? ». Seems wrong : It ‘s not your definition of « easy » as your mate told you. Anyway, you print your resume and you are ready to do anything to make some money. You go to every bar, restaurant, shop and hand over your resume… and you realize that they are put on a pile of paper behind the counter : You’re the 10th person handing over your resume today and you are probably not the last one.
You hear that there is some harvest up north, a lot of jobs, good money… See some guys at your hostel looking for travel mate to go up there and share the price of the gas… Seems interesting… A week after, you get the news that because of the weather, the harvest is delayed and there are a lot of backpackers stuck over there with no jobs… Not better than your situation in fact : a restaurant was ok to give you a job for 10h a week washing dishes but it’s on the other side of town and the train will cost you a third of your wages… Last hope : you know that a guy is leaving his waiter job next week and he has said that he’ll recommend you to his boss.
The more your savings are disappearing, the more you get stressed. How many more days before being short on cash, forced to leave the city and hitch-hike up north to, hopefully, find a fruit picking job ? And there is this guy at the hostel, relaxed, who doesn’t seems interested in getting a job and spend his day doing nothing. Then someone is telling you that he is working on a mining site and he is on his week off. Then, you learn about the mines : places where there are free food and accommodation and heaps of money to earn. Sounds like heaven after feeding yourself off instant noodle for a month. You wish you had heard about it before being broke to at least give it a try.
Well, I understand your feelings, I’ve been through this and if I had all the information I have today, after 5 month working on a mine site, my first weeks of job seeker in australia would have been more enjoyable and efficient. So, let me save you some stress and money and give you the information you should have the first day if you want to work on a mine site.
First solution : The catering companies
The easiest way to get in the mining industry when you don’t have any contacts in there is to work for a catering company. This is how you’ll get the mining experience and the contacts that will give you more work and maybe a better paid job.
There are five main companies to contact to work on mine site : Morris Corporation, ISS, Spotless, Sodexo and Action catering.
It’s unlikely that they’ll offer you a permanent position specially if you are on a W/H Visa. Nevertheless, they’ll probably recruit you to join their pool of casual workers which mean that you ‘ll move from one camp to another.
Second solution : The hiring companies
The recruitment process
Give them a call, and mail them your resume if they request it. Then, if they like your profile, you are up for an interview (BTW, they’ll tell you that living on a mine site is hard. It’s not. Check this post) and if that goes alright, you’ll have to pass a medical check-up and a drug test. You might also need to get a police clearance ( go to the post office, around 50$).
- Optimize your resume : Obviously, any previous experience in kitchen or cleaning must be emphasized on your resume. If you have a manual driving licence, mentioned it. You might have to drive on site and all the cars I drove were manuals. Mention anything showing that you have worked in some remote location and in harsh/hot weather.
- Get a white card : The course costs around 50$, and takes 3 hours to do online. This card show your employer that you have learned about safety rules on a construction site. This is a minimum requirement for some company and it’ll look good on your resume.