Transferable skills in the mining industry

Developing transferable skills

It’s important, now more than ever to ensure you have the transferable skills to ensure your value as a contractor. Your transferable job skills are the ones you acquire during one position but can be applied in another. 

Examples of some “soft” transferable skills are Communication (verbal and listening skills), Critical Thinking (problem-solving, analytical thinking) and Teamwork (collaboration, commitment, accountability). Look for examples of how you have displayed these skills and make sure your resume is up to date on these. 

One of the technical skills essential to every job is Technological Competence. Scan recent job advertisements and compare your technical skills to the competencies required. Do you have the skill sets an employer is looking for? If not, what skills seem to be the most prevalent and which ones are you lacking? Now is a great time to take some online skills-based training – whether you want to add Coding or Lean thinking to your knowledge, there’s plenty available online. 

Specific to switching to the mining industry, it’s important to note your equipment experience. Candidates who have equipment experience with drill rigs, secondary equipment to drill, handheld tools and fixed machines can be very well suited to operating roles in mining.

Non-mining experience

Don’t discount your lack of mining experience. Some mining projects are more immune to the current downturn than others and many are deemed essential businesses. Turnarounds and shutdowns are scheduled 12+ months out and will likely proceed - and require contractors. People with agricultural, construction, landscaping, forestry and military veterans can be of particular interest and have similar skill sets that the mining industry is looking for. 

Technology and the future of mining

As the Covid-19 pandemic subsides, research from Fitch Solutions and BDO suggests the mining industry will shift focus. Emphasis will go to new technological integration that will improve operational efficiency, lower costs and address sustainability and environmentalism. 

Globally, mining is already well acquainted with autonomous technologies. Drones, “snake robots” and self-driving trucks are already employed onsite at several large multinational mines. 

The shift to automation will demand the workforce to reskill. Traditional on-site operational positions - such as drilling, blasting and driving - will be transitioned to remote operators and maintenance personnel.  

Technologically savvy candidates will be in high demand as the transition to technology driven mining operations proceeds. Mining companies will need to rethink how they target potential recruits with these skill sets.