“Operators Overseas” is a new short series we are doing to help anyone who is seeking employment overseas. We have enlisted the help of operators who have worked all over the world to share some of their own experiences. As a result, we hope this will give you a real insight into working overseas and encourage you to do some travelling of your own.
For the second post of the series we have been in contact with Kenny Milne who has worked in Australia and New Zealand.
Name: Kenny Milne
Job Title: Production Shovel/Excavator Operator
Q.1. Where are you originally from?
A. 1. Dunfermline, Fife
Q.2 Where have you worked overseas?
A.2. Australia & New Zealand
Q.3 How did you travel to the country you worked in; how long did it take?
A.3. Flew here, 20 hours to Perth, Australia. I am currently still here and the flight to work takes 2 hours.
Q.4. What was your job role and responsibilities?
A.4. Production excavator operator, my responsibilities are to meet production targets while keeping the work area safe.
Q.5. How did you hear about the vacancy abroad?
A.5. Online: seek.com.au
Q.6. What papers were required for you to be able to work internationally? (E.g. Passport, visa, etc.)
A.6. I first came over on a working holiday visa and later got sponsored and then a permanent visa. Now I have an Australian passport.
Q.7. What additional operator/driver license/qualifications did you need to have?
A.7. CPCS card did help but really didn’t mean anything as it is only a UK thing, Australia have their own classified scheme for operating equipment.
Q.8. How did the rate of pay differ from the UK?
A.8. There is more money to make in Australia than in the UK, especially in mining.
Q.9. How was your overall experience of working overseas?
A.9. It was amazing when I first came, wearing sunglasses and shorts every day in the heat. I knew then I didn’t want to go back to Scotland to deal with the snow and cold.
Q.10. Would you recommend the opportunity to work overseas to other operators?
A.10. Yeah, for sure! If they ever get the chance give it a go.
Q.11. What advice would you give someone who would like to work overseas?
A.11. Go for it and think of the future. Do a bit of research as well, where are the best locations/companies to work for/rate of pay/etc.
Q.12. How was your work:life balance overseas?
A.12. I was single when I came over alone to Australia in 2007 and within 10 days of landing I was flying to a mining site. The roster I do is 2 weeks on, 1 week off and that’s 12.5 hour days. Life is good, sun/beach and chill on my week off.
Q.13. Can you describe your accommodation? Was it provided for you?
A.13. The camp I work at is a 2000 man camp and you have to stay in a motel which isn’t good. The rooms are small with a single bed, tv, fridge and just two steps from bed you are in the toilet. But it’s only for sleeping in! Camp has a bar, gym, pool, tennis court, cricket court and BBQ areas.
Q.14. Were you able to easily adapt to the culture of the country you were working in?
A.14. Yeah, it was all good!
Q.15. What is your most and least treasured memory from working overseas?
A.15. I love it, I wouldn’t change it and that’s the reason I am still here.
Q.16. What was most surprising/something you did not expect about working overseas?
A.16. The money, health and safety. There are people from all different working backgrounds going into mining for the money.
Q.17. Did you have many opportunities to travel around the country while you were there?
A.17. Yes, and I am still travelling as Australia is such a big place.
Q.18. Is there anything else you would like to add?
A.18. If you have a dream, chase it. Don’t stop trying even if you have hiccups just don’t give up, that happened to me.
Up next: Stewart Alexander who travelled to Antarctica.https://www.scottishplantoperators.co.uk/news/operators-overseas-antarctica/