By Pierre Bekker, MD at Quyn International Outsourcing

The South African mining sector is experiencing an increasing trend of outsourcing non-core operations to contractors, particularly construction work. This shift is propelled by two key factors: a scarcity of skilled labour and a strategic focus on core competencies by major mining corporations. However, this outsourcing trend comes with unique challenges for contractors, particularly in securing personnel with the right blend of expertise. This is where specialised staffing solutions, such as Temporary Employment Service (TES) providers can bridge the gap between skills, expertise, experience and getting the job done right.

Pierre Bekker, MD at Quyn International Outsourcing.

Pierre Bekker, MD at Quyn International Outsourcing. Supplied by Quyn International Outsourcing

The challenge of specialised skills


Contractors servicing the mining industry face a significant challenge in sourcing personnel with the specific skill set needed for mining projects. This includes expertise in engineering and mining, where a deep understanding of mining principles and engineering practices is essential for effective project execution. It is important for personnel to have a comprehensive knowledge of industry-specific health and safety standards, given that stringent regulations govern safety in the mining industry. It is also essential for contractors to be familiar with the complexities and nuances of working in a mining environment, to maintain safe and efficient operations.

 

The evolving demand for skilled personnel


The need for personnel with these specialised skills has grown significantly in recent years. This is due to an increased focus on safety, because of the Mining Charter and developing regulations which have heightened the importance of safety in mining operations. Additionally, cost-efficiency demands that personnel possess the necessary mining experience, eliminating the need for extensive on-site training with skilled, experienced labour that is ready to hit the ground running.

 

Multifaceted approach to address challenges

Effectively addressing these challenges starts by collaborating with experienced TES agencies that have a proven track record in the mining industry. This allows contractors to benefit from access to a wider talent pool, while leveraging regional expertise and the ability to tap into skills from other projects to fill gaps. Such partnerships between contractors and TES providers ensure the right focus on compliance, which is critical in high-risk industries. A TES partner that understands and prioritises compliance with regulatory standards is one of the most effective ways to ensure a safe, smooth operation.

 

Bridging the gap: specialised staffing solutions


Industry-specific staffing solutions play a vital role in assisting contractors with skills on demand. This is because TES providers maintain a comprehensive database of skilled personnel, which allows for quick and efficient identification of suitable, vetted candidates. Making use of specialised staffing solutions also means gaining support and understanding of the specific skills requirements in the mining industry, which is invaluable when it comes to accurately assessing the needs of each project and matching them with the right personnel. Furthermore, specialised staffing solutions facilitate enhanced compliance with regulatory standards by ensuring that contracted personnel already possess the necessary qualifications and are familiar with relevant regulations.

 

Benefits of specialised staffing solutions


By using specialised staffing solutions, contractors (and mining houses) can benefit from reduced operational risk. This is because TES agencies oversee recruitment, background checks and employment management, which minimises HR/IR-related exposure for contractors. Access to a wider talent pool and streamlined recruitment processes lead to faster project execution, which enhances the overall project efficiency, while partnering with a TES provider ensures adherence to regulatory standards and avoids potential legal and safety issues.

 

Optimising outsourcing for industry success

The ever-changing South African mining landscape demands a strategic approach to effectively manage the complexities involved with outsourcing. Partnering with specialised staffing solutions empowers contractors to secure the skilled workforce necessary for successful project execution and efficient operations, while ensuring adherence to regulations. This allows contractors and the mining companies that they service to concentrate on their core strengths and contribute to the industry’s ongoing growth and success.