DEAD END: Aaron Hammond has been unable to find mine work despite having the required certificates.
DEAD END: Aaron Hammond has been unable to find mine work despite having the required certificates. Darryn Smith

Dream of mining job turns into costly nightmare

THE dream of a Buderim man to work in the mines has turned out instead to be a very costly nightmare.

Aaron Hammond, 24, spent $4000 late last year to secure his haul truck licence, in the hope it would lead to a job in the booming mining industry.

Six months on, however, despite making countless inquiries for work, he is still unemployed.

"I've been applying for hundreds of jobs online, and even drove out to Chinchilla, which is a four-hour trip, and spoke to the locals out there but they said I'm wasting my time," Mr Hammond said.

"They said, 'If you haven't got a trade or any major qualification, you're basically wasting your time'.

"I'm still trying, though."

His training included the standard 11 mine induction courses and a standard 4WD course.

"I haven't got anything," he said of his job hunt, "not even an interview or any feedback."

A spokesman for the training company, Industry Partnerships of Ipswich, said demand for workers in the industry had fallen away late last year due to falling mineral prices, inflated wages within the industry and the high Australian dollar, but he assured employment opportunities again were on the rise.

"The industry went through a downturn and unfortunately, for the people who went through training then, the work dried up a bit," managing director Peter Evans said.

"There's coal in the ground that needs to come out and I have no doubt that these companies are going to need workers."

The Queensland Resources Council said employment was still high in the mining industry - with about 11,500 workers in the Coal Seam Gas industry in Gladstone alone, for example - but competition for unskilled jobs such as truck driving was high.

"Competition for mining jobs has always been strong and is now even tougher with the global economic slowdown," the spokesman said.

"Since June last year, the Federal Government estimates the Queensland coal industry has lost about 6000 jobs.

"However, the coal-seam gas industry is growing rapidly and providing some cover for those losses."

Meantime, Mr Hammond, who has experience in construction, plastering and landscaping, remains hopeful of securing a mining job.



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