How to Retain Young Professionals in Mining

Simon Houlding, Vice-President for Professional Development at EduMine writes:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current young professionals work group (up to age 35), commonly referred to as “millennials” or “Gen Y’ers”, spends an average of 1.8 years in a job before moving on. At any one time, 60% of this group are looking for new career opportunities while still employed.

Career and lifestyle aspirations are even more important to them than pay or their relationship with their managers. In addition, millennials do not need to be highly dissatisfied with their current job to make a change. If something more attractive comes across their radar screen, in the way of career advancement or lifestyle aspirations, they will leap, regardless of how long they have been with their current employer.

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What are mechanics in mining really earning?

Mechanics work across various industries, including construction, mining, manufacturing, transportation, forestry, agricultural and in the municipalities. Salaries for mechanics can vary tremendously depending on which industry they are working in. They can also vary a lot depending on where they are based. Mining has notoriously been a good industry to work in, and salaries have always been very competitive. Between 2001 and 2008 jobs for mechanics in mining rose dramatically, but there was a decline in 2009 due to the 2008 – 2009 recession. Things did pick up again but with the recent slump in mining, jobs for mechanics have been affected again.

The trend seems to be that the majority of those working as mechanics are still men. According to Service Canada, as many as 98.5% of Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanics in 2011 were men, which is very high when you compare it to all occupations where 52.7% of those employed are men. Given the nature of the job, it is unlikely that these statistics will have changed that much in recent years.
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How the downturn in mining has affected Geologist salaries in Australia

Even with the downturn in mining worldwide which has seen massive job losses as a result of mining companies downsizing, putting mines into maintenance mode or closing down, it appears not all is bad for Geologists working in mining in Australia. Besides other mining professions, we know that there are a lot of Geologists who have lost their jobs worldwide and in Australia. What I thought may be of interest, was to see how this downturn has affected Geologist salaries in Australia.

The data used has been used exclusively from the CareerMine Salary Survey results, and I have shown a comparison between what Geologists were earning in 2012 and what they are now earning in 2014.

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The impact of Australia’s mining crisis on job seekers in other countries

With reference to the crisis in mining in Australia that I touched on in my last article, one tends to forget that there is a massive ricochet effect of this crisis in Australia, which has affected many others who work in mining in countries worldwide. It not only those in Australia that suffer when Australian mining companies takes a turn for the worse, but areas as far away as India feel the pinch. I was saddened to receive the below from an Exploration Geologist in India, whose life has also been dramatically affected by what is going on in Australia. I also know that he is not the only one feeling this way.

“Your article on mining crisis in Australia was very nice. I know it because I have undergone same situation in India when our Australian based mining company shut down the entire operations. Lot of young Geologist like us had given 3 years of our career into the company and when it was shut we regretted a lot. Some thought maybe other government organisation jobs like banking etc. was a better option but since the age limit had crossed it was unavailable now.

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How to Improve Your Chances of Getting the Job You Want in Mining

Written by Simon Houlding, Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc, lifelong learning is an accepted feature of a mining career in today’s world. Simon explains – These are not the easiest of times to find a job in mining. The economic climate of the mining industry means that few companies are expanding and many are still shrinking. None-the-less there are always job opportunities out there, created by people retiring, changing jobs and generally moving around. The mining industry employs a wide variety of specialists, from engineers, geologists and metallurgists to accountants, human resource professionals, technicians and managers. Job opportunities are never non-existent, they are occasionally limited. If you are not successful at finding the job you want, then perhaps you are not going about it the right way. Here are some of the ways you can improve your chances of finding the job you want.

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Same Job, New Manager?

During your working career you are bound to have to go through the character building challenge at some stage, of your current manager being replaced. Whether it’s going to be an internal move or somebody from the outside, the chances are that your new manager is going to be different to what you are accustomed to, and that they are going to take some getting used to!!!

Even if you had a fantastic relationship with your previous manager, try to see the positive in this new event, and try to see it as an opportunity for change and growth. Also remember that this person has the power to possibly make or break your career in your company. That’s why the way you deal with your new manager upfront is so very important. Handled the wrong way, this new relationship could damage your career or even land you in the unemployment line. Remember as well that all the time you forming opinions about your new manager, that he or she will also size you up and will be forming an opinion of you.

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Life for those who have fallen victim to the mining crisis in Australia

For those involved in the mining sector it is not news to hear that the mining industry has been in a bad state for some time worldwide, which has resulted in drastic job cuts all over the world, with few if any countries having escaped being affected by the slump. Australia has been badly hit, with mine closures having devastated parts of Australia. All sectors of mining have been affected, but there are other industries also suffering in Australia including the auto manufacturing industry. According to the official Australian Bureau of Statistics data the national unemployment rate in Australia jumped from 5.8 percent to 6 percent in June. Even though this does not sound like a huge amount, one needs to keep in mind the impact this has had on the mining industry and its associated industries. Also that although the mining industry only employs a fraction of the Australian workforce, around 2 percent, it directly employs another approximately 8 percent, through related industries such as construction, transport and engineering sectors.

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