Schlam’s Trade Up Program; Bridging The Skills Gap

Schlam’s Trade Up Program; Bridging The Skills Gap

He may be relatively new to Schlam, but Brad isn’t new to the mining industry. In fact, his extensive career in fixed plant and underground mining has now led him to open cut experience for larger Tier 1 miners with Schlam. This month, Brad has just completed our Trade-Up Program to enhance his future career prospects.

Recognising the need to empower its employees to upskill in preparation for WA labour skills shortage, Schlam is encouraging its workforce more than ever to undertake a trade upgrade. Encouraging this program is one of Schlam People Solution’s top priorities. After all, the mining industry can’t just wait for the skilled labour shortage to resolve itself, we must act now.

After his apprenticeship, Brad found himself in fixed plant working on CAT engines and underground mining. He found however, that being a contractor was tough and was looking for an opportunity to venture into a more permanent role in surface mining but never had the chance because of the certification requirements.

As a family man from the burbs of sleepy Safety Bay, Brad was determined to find an opportunity to support his family and grow his career, so eventually, he decided to join the FIFO community.

“The FIFO lifestyle grows on you, especially if you have your partner on board. I find it allows me to have more quality time for my family. It works for me right now.” Brad said.

Throughout his career as a mechanical fitter, Brad has gained experience both working in teams and by himself. Brad put in the time and effort to learn new skills along the way starting off with his Certificate in Marine and progressing to the mining scene. Brad built his career as a Trades Assistant before given the opportunity to show his mechanical skills and stepping into roles including leading hand and supervisor.

He saw Schlam advertising the Trade Upgrade program and jumped on the opportunity to take his career to the next level. Having this qualification eliminates the risk of being pigeonholed into jobs with limited prospects.

Over the next few months, he worked together with ‘SKILLS ON DEMAND’ to provide proof of experience to certify his skills. Thankfully, Brad had diligently kept records of his prior work experience and developed good working relationships with both his site supervisors and colleagues. Building those networks has paid dividends as his career evolved, especially as he undertook his trade upgrade.

Now with a Certificate III Mobile Plant under his belt, it opens the doors for Brad to specialise in specific mining equipment and work across a range of mine sites around Australia. Brad can also choose a roster that suits his family life and make changes to it as he progresses through his career.

Brad eventually wants to gain more experience in diggers and drills and grow his career even further with Schlam. Thankfully for Brad, Schlam has drill teams across the Pilbara with Tier 1 mining companies.

When asked if he has any advice for others interested in upskilling their qualifications, his advice is practical.

“Take photos of every job you do so you can provide evidence of your prior work experience. Keep your skills diverse and look to continually learn and improve on your knowledge.” Brad advises.

When asked what he thought of the trade upgrade processes, he was quite surprised by how simple it was.

“I thought it was going to be a lot harder, especially with the amount of paperwork at first. But once I realised it was quite simple, and as long as your resume clearly shows your past history, together with evidence of your work, the process is straight forward” he explains.

“It has definitely opened up doors for other opportunities for me down the track and will allow me to specialise in certain areas”. Brad mentions.

Congratulations Brad!

If you want to learn more about our Trade Upgrade Program, speak to our recruitment team today RECRUITMENT@SCHLAM.COM

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