Beyond the Trade Qualification
The mining industry, although a small employer (<2% of the workforce), is an important component of Australia’s economy. It makes up 7.7% of GDP and 48% of export earnings, and requires a highly skilled workforce (Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences [ABARES], 2011). The mobile fleet, including ore extractors and dump trucks, is essential in the ore extraction process. Highly skilled technicians are required to maintain equipment to meet high production targets. Comprehensive apprenticeship training of heavy equipment fitters to keep these machines operational is adequate for commencing tradespersons but little is known about how heavy equipment fitters continue to learn and develop the higher-order cognitive and interactive knowledge and skills to service and maintain modern mobile mining equipment. New knowledge and skills are required as new technologies are introduced. The aim of this research was to discover how mobile mining equipment technicians gain the higher-order cognitive and interactive skills necessary to maintain modern mobile equipment.
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