What it does: Mines things
Staff stats: Around 14,000 globally
The good bits: Bespoke grad programs
The not so good bits: Shift work, long hours
Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Sciences
The South32 story
South32 is a globally diversified mining and metals company. We produce bauxite, alumina, aluminium, energy and metallurgical coal, manganese, nickel, silver, lead and zinc at our operations in Australia, Southern Africa and South America.
We are also the owner of a high-grade zinc, lead and silver development option in North America and have several partnerships with junior explorers with a focus on base metals.
Our purpose is to make a difference by developing natural resources, improving people’s lives now and for generations to come.
We are trusted by our owners and partners to realise the potential of their resources.
Every year we search for enthusiastic and creative graduates and students to join our team.
Our reason is simple – we’re always looking for our future colleagues, leaders and technical experts.
We attract talented people with exceptional skills who share our values of care, togetherness, trust and excellence and want to make a difference with the work that they do.
With operations located across Australia, our popular Graduate and Summer Vacation Programs will provide you unique opportunities to help you learn and build new skills.
By enabling you to gain some valuable, hand-on experience across a range of disciplines, our development opportunities will also ensure you achieve the technical, professional and personal experience required to further your career and reach your full potential.
Our people are crucial to our success and we’re committed to creating an inclusive and diverse workplace with people who are engaged, empowered and appropriately rewarded.
Opportunities exist for students and graduates of Engineering, Geology or Earth Sciences, Surveying, Chemistry, Metallurgy, Information Technology and Environmental Science.
South32 aims to be part of the communities it operates in, through investment and by listening to those affected by its operations. The company funds educational services, the provision of facilities and other community resources and campaigns addressing local medical issues.
South32’s corporate social responsibility initiatives include working with Landcare Australia to help students learn about protecting the environment; helping fund a Maths, Science and Technology Academy in South Africa and sponsoring the Tamar Valley Writers’ Festival Schools Day Program.
The company also has an employee volunteer program “which encourages out people to give back to their local communities”.
The company has a sustainability policy which aligns with the International Council on Metals and Mining (ICMM) Sustainable Development Framework. Through a range of initiatives and activities, South32 also contributes to the advancement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The recruitment process
South32 looks for “enthusiastic and creative graduates”. Ones who can take the initiative and make a contribution in some of the largest mines in Australia and around the world. Those from a range of disciplines are recruited given the business requires engineers, data analysts, site managers, health and safety officers, planners and operators.
The company looks for strong academic performers. Ones who are responsible and predisposed to look for smarter ways to do things. While not essential, it’s a good idea to do one of the company’s 12-week, Christmas break internships if you’re looking to get into its grad program. If you’re interested in either an internship or grad position, you should register for job alerts and keep an eye on the job opportunities page on the company website.
The recruitment process involves an online application, those who are shortlisted are invited to complete some psychometric testing. Some further shortlisted candidates are invited to an interview, pre-employment checks and hopefully an offer.
Those who get an offer then play a part in designing a grad program tailored to their academic background and career ambitions. This program takes 2-3 years to complete. It will let you “gain exposure to world-class operations, develop technically, grow personally and professionally, receive multiple layers of dedicated support from graduate buddies to senior leaders and extend your network with global colleagues.”
South32 offers “competitive salaries” though what you’ll earn as a grad will depend on what field you’re working in. For example, HR, supply and finance based grads are on high $60's and those in Science/Engineering based disciplines are on mid $80's (with plenty of opportunities to crack six figures within a few years). South32 offers staff access to an employee share plan, performance-based bonuses and access to additional employer-paid superannuation contributions. Fly-in-fly-out travel allowances are provided too. Where applicable - a number of our opportunities are residential so relocation may be provided but no ongoing allowance.
As part of its efforts to encourage staff to “look for smarter and better ways to do things”, the company “invests in their continual development and learning” and encourages them to “reach their full potential”. The company is big on win-win arrangements, be it with its customers, host communities or staff. So, if you put the necessary effort in you can expect to be rewarded with commensurate pay rises and promotions.
The vibe of the place
As a recently formed company, South32 corporate culture is a work in progress. But whatever that culture is, staff seem to appreciate it given there is only a 2.8 per cent voluntary turnover rate. Like many companies, South32 proclaims “our people are key to our success”. Unlike many companies, South32 actually appears to believe this. It makes a significant effort to gather feedback from employees and address any concerns they have. If you’re looking for a socially and environmentally responsible, forward-thinking resource industry employer, South32 could be for you.