Macmahon has initiated a series of veteran assessment days this year. Image: Macmahon.

 

BY EMMA DAVIES

 

MINING services contractor Macmahon and the Working Spirit group have joined forces  to improve employment opportunities available to Australian defence force veterans as they transition to civilian work.

 

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Macmahon manager human resources Katherine Blacklock said most veterans had been extensively trained and their experience and knowledge was a “highly transferrable fit for many mining and associated industry roles”.

“Typically, veterans breed integrity and hard work and have shown leadership under stressful conditions,” Ms Blacklock said.

“Veterans often tell us the transition process can be quite jarring and many feel there is a need for a new wave of consistent government policy and direct pathways to industry roles.

“In response, we have implemented targeted strategies for engagement, development and retention of ex-defence force personnel.”

Ms Blacklock said high unemployment rates of veterans was often attributed to misconceptions that army, navy and air force veterans suffer from mental health issues and veterans often under-sold their skill set to potential employers.

She said through the Working Spirit program, Macmahon and other miners were improving employment opportunities available to veterans through a direct opportunities portal as well as career summits, networking, and social sundowners.

In 2018, there had been a 36 per cent increase in jobs demand in the mining sector, according to the latest DFP Recruitment national Mining and Resources Job Index.

 

 “This [program] is a key aim for us to help fill jobs across our wide network of contract services to surface and underground mining operators, especially given we have about $7 billion worth of project opportunities in our pipeline to come onstream,” Ms Blacklock said.

 

“These opportunities will be in gold, base metals and coal sectors in Australia and offshore and are accompanied by significant growth in demand for skilled and unskilled labour.”

To date, Macmahon has held a series of veteran assessment days and has employed 12 former Australian Defence Force personnel through Working Spirit.

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