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Mining Skills in Demand: Heavy Transport Mechanics

How to fast track your way to become one and break into the mining industry.


In the first of our series Mining Skills In Demand blog posts we take a look at Heavy Transport Mechanics, how you can become one and why this job is so hot in the industry right now.

Logistics play a pivotal role in the general operations of a mining site, with trucks carrying thousands of tonnes of minerals from WA mine sites to manufacturing sites and ports every day. Having reliable trucks to transport materials efficiently and meet target production is not only key to making mining operations profitable, but also in making them easier and safer.

Mining companies invest heavily in maintaining their equipment to optimise output and safety, which is why there is a high demand for skilled and qualified Heavy Transport Mechanics. With Western Australia in the midst of a mining boom right now, demand for these skilled technicians is higher than ever.

So, what exactly does a Heavy Transport Mechanic do and how do you go about becoming one?

It typically takes four years as an apprentice to become a Heavy Transport Mechanic and gain a Cert III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology. During this time, you’ll learn to diagnose and repair mechanical and electrical issues in large vehicles such as semi-trucks and trailers. You’ll also learn to replace parts, handle repairs to electrical, hydraulic and brake systems, with your primary responsibility being the repair and maintenance of heavy trucks.

To help fill the critical skills shortage of Heavy Transport Mechanics in the mining industry, Blue Tongue developed an innovative apprenticeship program specifically for mature age people who have experience working on the tools, which not only fast tracks their time to complete a Heavy Transport Mechanic apprenticeship, but also pays them competitive market wages while they complete it.

Blue Tongue Managing Director Tully Young said this unique program breaks away from the traditional apprenticeship model and brings a more experienced and career focused Heavy Transport Mechanic into the industry.

“There are a lot of semi-skilled people out there who have years of trade related experience working on the tools, but missed the boat on doing an apprenticeship when they left school,” he explained.

“By the time you’re in your mid-twenties or older it’s hard to find an employer who is willing to take you on as an apprentice and if they do, being paid a lowly apprenticeship wage for four years isn’t overly appealing when you’ve got bills to pay.”

“So, with our Heavy Transport Mechanic Advanced Group Training Program, we invest upfront in their 6-week block of training at our RTO, and we pay them a wage for the duration of that training,” he said.

“The customised training program builds on the existing skills and knowledge of career minded people who have experience on the tools and have a strong desire to obtain a sought-after trade in the mining industry.”

“By doing this, we’re able to streamline the program and reduce the time it takes to complete the apprenticeship from four years to three,” Tully explained.

Blue Tongue directly employs the apprentice and pays them a competitive market wage while working for one of its leading partner clients in the mining industry. After this they transition to work directly for Blue Tongue’s client and further develop their skills in electrical mechanics and complete their Cert III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology.

Mining Skills in Demand: Heavy Transport Mechanics 1

Blue Tongue’s 2023 Heavy Transport and Trailer Mechanic Group


The program makes it an attractive and fast-tracked pathway for a mature age person to gain a trade in the heavy transport industry, while solving critical skills gaps in the resources sector.

Blake, aged 31 and an automotive glass repairer from Perth, was one of the top 1% of applicants who successfully applied for our most recent Trailers and Truck Mechanic Advanced Group Training Program.

“I wanted a change in career, and I wanted to stay on the tools, but it was really hard to find anyone who wanted to take me on as an apprentice because of my age. So, when I saw the Blue Tongue Advanced Group Training Program on Seek I thought I’d give it a go at applying. It’s great that I get paid while I’m upskilling — I’m looking forward to learning new skills and getting some of the mortgage paid off with the better pay that I’ll get when I start working in the mining industry.”

If you’re someone who loves working on the tools and has experience in a trade-related field, find out how you can apply for Blue Tongue’s Trailers and Truck Mechanic Advanced Group Training Program and begin an exciting new career in the mining industry contact us on 08 6365 1860.