Increasingly, mine operators are employing inexperienced ‘cleanskins’ to address skill shortages and drive diversity. But how can employers better manage the inherent risks?

The mining sector has found a smart way to tackle labour shortages, opening jobs to cleanskins who have never worked in mining but are keen to enter the industry.

When Glencore started the recruitment process for its $1 billion Ulan West underground coal mine in New South Wales, the company took the unprecedented step of building a workforce made up of mostly cleanskins.

In fact, it was staffed almost entirely by people who had never set foot on a mine site – with more than 90% having no previous experience. Today, the mine is thriving.

Another Australian mining services company recently opened a new $1.2 million underground coal mining training facility, to provide specialised learning in a realistic environment. Already, it reduces the time it takes to go from being an inexperienced miner to being operational at the ‘coal-face’ by 30 per cent.

The concept is also a win for diversity, by removing the obstacle of mandatory experience in the most male-dominated industry in the country.

There’s no doubt that ‘cleanskins’ are a clever way to build a mining workforce while injecting fresh thinking. But when faced with thousands of applications for a limited number of jobs – and with experience no longer a differentiator ­– how do you create a shortlist?

More importantly, how do you ensure ‘green’ workers maintain a safety culture in such an inherently risky occupation?

A breakthrough pre-employment screening tool, Predikt-r helps cut injury rates and build a safety culture before employees even walk through the door: no matter how inexperienced they are.

Using machine learning and advanced algorithms, it reliably predicts each job candidate’s safety behaviours, contribution to safety culture, and likelihood of workplace injuries.

And it’s fast and simple – providing instant, objective shortlisting for high-volume roles.

Applicants complete a simple online questionnaire as the first step, then Predikt-r automatically scores and ranks them rates them based on tailored safety competencies  – like resilience, situational awareness and personal accountability.

Then recruiters move straight on to interviewing the people they already know will be safer in the workplace, saving time and providing concrete business benefits.

Predikt-r has been exhaustively tested to prove that shortlisting the right staff first (and avoiding high-risk candidates) equates to fewer injuries plus concrete savings and ROI.

Want to get take safety to the next level – no matter how inexperienced your applicants are? Talk to the team at Predikt-r.