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FIFO Mining jobs? Could this be something DH could do?
DH sacked, looking for employment 'outisde the square'

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#1 Honeyblonde

Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:29 PM

Hi all,
Quick version, DH worked for Coles for 15 years in various retail management positions, then left and got into the IT industry in the last 3.5 years. He has since been unfairly dismissed (for reporting his superior for workplace bullying, so she sacked him that night) and we are going through Fairwork as he has a very strong case for Unfair Dismissal.

Anyway, we live in Vic, I have previously lived in Qld as a child, and have been yearning to live there again, especially near the beach. Suddenly today DH decides maybe working interstate in the mines is a possibility. Obviously this is a complete career change and he would have to get appropriate qualifications first, he is thinking even as a truck driver in the mines etc. Initially he would do FIFO, and if the job goes well, we would move up to Qld also, (not necessarily near the mines, more near the coast) So i would stay here in Vic with our 5 kids, put the house up for sale, DH hopefully gets a FIFO job in Qld (also looking at WA) and once our house sells we move interstate also. We have been wanting to sell our home since last year, and were going to move to the next town as DH initially didnt want to leave his job, but now seeing as his job is gone, whats stopping us!

Obviously we realise its not easy as pie to get into the mining jobs, but what sort of qualifications would he need to get to do this, and how does he go about applying for jobs etc, has anyone elses DH done this, and did you move interstate also or did you stay in your home in your own state? I am not worried about coping with the kids as I have done it before, he has previously done a job that involved a lot of interstate travel and I was on my own with 4 kids AND pregnant with #5, so I know I can handle it.

Any advice, hints, suggestions that are helpful would be appreciated, this is just an option he has thought of as we are struggling now to pay our mortgage and support 5 kids, and this may be a way to help us get out of the hole of debt we are teetering on the edge of!


#2 2_little_boys

Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:11 PM

DH is a truckie in the mines.  

Even with the qualifications he will need experience.  Most wont touch them until they have 12 months - 2 years basic experience.  So he will be looking at that length of time with just a standard trucking company getting experience.

Even then its not easy to get a mining place to give you a look in without mining experience.

When I was applying for DH (he is only on his 3rd swing now) I was sending 40-50 applications per DAY.  They say to get into it that it takes approximately 4 years of steady applications to get a break.  We were very lucky and it was 6 months of steady applications.

DH has been a truckie for 5 years now though so has reasonable experience.

There is a page on facebook - Mining jobs Australia - they dont help you get a job but are there for support and ideas.  One of the ladies on there has a resume writing company that will assist for free or do your resume for you for a cost.

You will also need to think whether you and the kids will cope with DH not being there.  We had the advantage that he was an interstate truckie before so he was gone from first thing Monday morning and didnt get home until Saturday morning.  Then he had been up all night so Saturday was a write-off.  We really only had him 1 day per week.  

So for us we were used to him not being around.  Now we are really only losing him 1 day each weekend (cos he was a waste of space previously on Saturdays so Sunday was his only useful day) so its not a huge change to what we were used to.  I have still struggled a bit.  Our boys (5yo and 9yo) seem to be coping very well though.

If you have any other questions let me know.  This is all very fresh in my mind with DH only just starting recently.

#3 2_little_boys

Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:12 PM

Bit more - if you want help with applying let me know.  I still have all the websites I searched to find jobs and happy to pass them along to you.

We are in SA and I have stayed at home as I dont want to give up my job (I work fulltime) and my family are here.  

DH does 2 on, 1 off to Christmas Creek (top of WA).  We have to pay his flights to Perth then the mine pays from Perth to the mine site.

Inductions, etc he had 3 days of inductions in Perth before getting to the mine.  We had to fly him there for that, pay for the accommodation and his meals for the 3 days.  We have been told none of this is claimable on tax.  Neither are the flights from SA to WA that we pay for as they are considered the same as driving to work.

We still think its worth it for us.  For 3 days on the mine site DH gets paid what he earned for a full week doing interstate runs.

Edited by 2_little_boys, 11 May 2012 - 02:15 PM.

#4 FourLittleLoves

Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:29 PM

My Dad started in the mines this January, he had been driving trucks for 10 years. It took him about a year to get a position in the mines even though his brother works up there in a management role. He is currently trying to get DH's name on peoples radar up there  so he can get a job too. Although my DH has no experience in driving trucks or mining so it might take a while and he calls up recruitment agencies weekly.

Getting off track sorry.

So when my Dad started he said its less what you know and more who you know as regular truck licences count for nothing (although will probably look better on your resume). Each company makes you start from scratch with learning and he started with people who had no more than a regular car licence and no mining experience. I think perseverance with applications is key.

Best of luck to your DH.

Edited by MrsPotatoHead, 11 May 2012 - 02:30 PM.

#5 GamerMum

Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:49 PM

DF has been working in the mines for almost 2 years now. We live in a town with 3 mines close by in outback SA (there's 4 now though) so he decided to apply for all of them, but focussed on one that would allow him to come home every night, as the camp is in town. He got his HR license, and kept up with his fire fighting and first aid training to give him some kind of "edge."
He applied weekly via email and phone calls weekly for three months, when he got no reply we moved to WA to try our luck there, as it's very expensive to live in this town with limited income. While in WA he continued to apply for the mines here, as well as those in WA. WA mines told him he's pretty much never get a job, but he continued to try.

A month after being in Perth one of the mines in SA called him and offered him an entry level serviceman position. Hard work, fuelling trucks, mechanical work.. basically a grunt. He had 24 hours to decide, and three days to get to town for medicals. So we packed up again and moved back here, as the flight costs wouldn't be worth me staying in WA for him to FIFO. The day we got back to town he did the medicals, had a week to lose 15 kgs (OHS requirement for weight limits in trucks) and he started the next week. He HATED the serviceman job, but did it well and the bosses loved him. 8 months later they asked him what he'd prefer to do and he told them he wanted to be a dumpy driver. Two weeks later they put him in a dump truck and he learned it proficiently in three hours, so they gave him in the position, and the pay rise to go with it. He absolutely LOVES his job now and couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

The problem we have, is the company that DF works for is considered an entry level company, and isn't well regarded in the mining circles. They don't give out tickets/licenses and it's basically a giant truck playground. It does not look good having this company on his resume, BUT it's giving him the hours in the machines he needs to get his tickets if he goes elsewhere, IF he can get a position elsewhere.

We have discussed FIFO to QLD as there is more money there (his company pays are the worst in the industry) but we will more than likely move to whatever state he goes to, as it cuts down the commute time and he wants to be home as much as possible. He's currently on a 2/1 week roster but he gets to come home to sleep every night instead of sleeping at the camp.

It is a very much "who you know" business, and it's very tricky to get in. DF is constantly training up the bosses kids, friends, family members etc and it is very rare for a "nobody" to get work there.  The more experience/tickets/qualifications you have the better, but it's still not going to land you a job unless you get lucky. But DF feels it's worth it in the end.

That was a longer post than I intented.. sorry about that. Good luck to your DH!

#6 Snack

Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:04 PM

It is a very much "who you know" business, and it's very tricky to get in.

I have recently joined the oil and gas industry ... which is exactly like this..... it is not what you know, but who you know.  I have 10 years experience doing what I do, but it was a real struggle to convince this industry that I can do the job.  

#7 memy2girlz

Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:45 PM

My partner is on his frst shift FIFO...he applied for alot & got through with BHP but while waiting for a position to come up in his field (electrician) he got offered a job on referral by a friend....I know quite a few families that have partners in the mines & it's who you know not what alot of the time...sad but true.
We live in QLD & my partner is working in Roma, he would take a job in WA but we wouldn't move.I know 2 friends hubby's that fly across,not alot of difference where they fly..it takes up the best part of the day travelling anyway.

Edit:Luckily DP's company pays well & pays for flights...there's not much they don't pay,while they are accommodated elsewhere while they are building the camp all food is paid for also.Basically he doesn't have to spend anything while he's away.

Edited by memy2girlz, 12 May 2012 - 10:51 PM.

#8 mummacampbell

Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:29 PM

Hi Op

If your husband is with an employment agency that is a really good way to get into the mines as the government pay the mining companies for taking unemployed people on!!!!

#9 SpunkyMonkey88

Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:55 AM

My DH works FIFO. He is a drillers off sider. It is one of the most grueling physical jobs in the industry - but it is a fairly "easy job to get into (compared with other FIFO jobs).

My DH works 12-14 hour days, 2 weeks on one week off. He needed his MC truck license. He applied for 40ish jobs a day for nearly 3 months.

Most of the PP are right. It is an extremely hard industry to get into, and more often than not you will need to start at the bottom.  Having said that my DH started at the bottom and is still paid $100K a yr, and the only way is up.

I have just done some training to allow me onto the Alcoa sites, and the trainer (with 40+ years in the industry) was saying that when they ask for 2 years experience in the industry they mean out in a remote site. A lot of people can't handle living in the middle of nowhere with no family, and they need to know you can.

#10 MrsFeral247

Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:41 AM

To be honest (and blunt), I really think you'd be wasting your time.

A company is highly unlikely to pay $100k odd plus a fortune in fifo costs to employ someone with 20 years supermarket/ IT experience that just got their truck licence when they'd have tonnes of applicants who've been driving trucks for 20 years, or who have mining experience in another mining / heavy industry role.

Whilst the mining industry is booming, companies aren't in the business of giving blokes (generally) a shot cos they're after a career change and some decent money, they need to have skills and experience to make it worth their while. Plus as others have said, there's plenty of sons/ nephews / brothers of skilled workers to quickly fill the relatively small number of unskilled positions on mine site.

Bear in mind, the costs of getting tickets and licences adds up, plus a lot of companies don't pay for medicals because so many applicants arrange them voluntarily to get an edge.

It won't hurt to keep applying, but I probably wouldn't put all your eggs in one basket.

After that negative Nancy post, I do wish your husband lots of luck and hope something suitable comes up!

#11 Pop-to-the-shops

Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:35 AM

Interesting and informative posts pp's. I had wondered this about my young stepson, but sounds a lot harder than I imagined.

Good lick to you dh op.


#12 SpunkyMonkey88

Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:23 AM

QUOTE (MrsSmith247 @ 21/05/2012, 03:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To be honest (and blunt), I really think you'd be wasting your time.

A company is highly unlikely to pay $100k odd plus a fortune in fifo costs to employ someone with 20 years supermarket/ IT experience that just got their truck licence when they'd have tonnes of applicants who've been driving trucks for 20 years, or who have mining experience in another mining / heavy industry role.

I completely disagree.

My husband works FIFO. He used to run a bar.
My BIL works FIFO. He used to work at woolies.
My other BIL works FIFO. He used to be a car salesman.

None of them knew anyone in the industry, all got their jobs around the same time, so didn't use each other and all of them earn $100K a year +.

As I said before. It is hard work, and you may have to take an entry level job. But if you are willing to work hard, have a truck license and apply to enough jobs you will eventually get a job.

#13 Princess Leila

Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:37 AM

I know around Kalgoorlie some of the mines will only employ you if you are already living here. A few of them do take on trainee drivers... Although a long way from the coast this is a nice town to live..

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