Training and Apprenticeships

Residential Operator Program Supporting Women in Mining

The Challenge

SKILLED was providing a managed workforce of 140 Mobile Plant Operators at our client’s operations. In a labour market characterised by an on-going shortage of suitable workers, SKILLED was aware through receiving numerous enquiries that a substantial number of candidates in the community were interested in employment. SKILLED and our client saw the opportunity to increase the numbers of available workers and to provide work opportunities for these local community members, many of whom would be women who were partners of existing workers at the mine.

The Solution

SKILLED and our client introduced the “Residential Green Operator Program”.  While the program’s primary focus was to employ 10-15% of the total workforce from the local residential community, it also recognised that many unemployed people in the community were women.  The program aimed to substantially increase the number of women employed and offered family-friendly rosters such as 4-days-on-4-days-off (4/4).

To attract candidates, SKILLED placed posters locally and also advertised the opportunity for employment online. The target group was comprised largely of women who were looking for employment opportunities and included those with no experience or limited experience in the Mining industry. These candidates offered the added benefit of stability as they were already a part of the local community and had secure housing.

To support the Residential Green Operator Program SKILLED screened and tested candidates and trained any inexperienced workers in how to operate large mining plant.

The Results

In the first intake for the Residential Green Operator Program, 14 women candidates commenced on site; comprising 70% of the total program intake. Four women from this intake transitioned to permanent employment with our client which is a positive reflection of the success of the program to train and up-skill workers. In the second intake 50% of placements were women.

Retention of women in the Residential Green Operator Program was 73%.

By August 2012, women made up almost 50% of the Residential Green Operators on site, including six women in the seven-member “A Crew”.

Furthermore, due to SKILLED and our client’s commitment to diversity and the Residential Green Operators Program, 25% of the overall SKILLED Mobile Plant Operator workforce on the client’s site were women.

SKILLED also had a list of approximately 50 community members, 29 who were women, waiting for an opportunity to gain a position on the Green Operator Program.

Read more about how SKILLED supports a truly diverse workforce.