Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union district president Steve Pierce said contrary to what most mining companies have made people believe since the resources boom has taken off, the majority of companies have been employing people who have got some mining skills, either trade or production experience.
Pierce said the reality in the Bowen Basin mining industry at the moment was that the opportunities are only there for people with skills that fit into the industry.
He said most mining companies had taken no responsibility in hiring people with no skills and training them up, but rather employed tradespeople and put them to work on their particular equipment.
“Companies have been poaching skilled workers off other companies and contractors, but it was being portrayed that if people came out to the Queensland mining areas then they could pick up jobs worth $100,000 a year and all they had to do was rock up, knock on the door and it was there,” he said.
“In some cases coal companies were trying to falsely enhance their stance by making it seem they were giving all these people job opportunities, which they weren’t, and also to try and buy some credibility within the community.
“The reality of what occurred was unfortunately some people left positions of reasonable pay in occupations that were never going to help them get into the industry – in hope of a mining job which never eventuated.”
Pierce said the union was still seeing unskilled people being disappointed by the lack of opportunities in the mining industry but said through word of mouth, people are now realising the reality of the situation.