Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration; Health & Medical Sciences; Sciences.
What it does: Mining
Staff stats: 12,000
The good bits: Friendly, supportive colleagues, great learning and career development opportunities
The not so good bits: Working away from friends and family
The Thiess story
What’s now the world’s largest mining services provider was started by the five Thiess brothers in the 1940s. During a decade when Australia suffered some major energy crises, the innovative Thiess siblings pioneered large-scale, open-cut coal mining in sites across New South Wales and Queensland.
But Thiess Bros, as it was known when it was incorporated in 1947, wasn’t just a mining company. It also built infrastructure, such as railway lines, tunnels, dams, roads and power stations.
In 1951, rebranded as Thiess Holdings Ltd, the company listed on the Brisbane and Sydney stock exchanges. In 1983, it was acquired by Leighton Holdings. It then diversified further, getting into everything from building holiday resorts and prisons, to managing waste to remediating former mine and industrial sites.
In recent decades the company has developed and run many of Australia’s biggest mines. It has also been involved in many of the nation’s most significant construction projects. These include the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, the Sydney Olympics Site, the Australian Synchrotron Building, EastLink, Victoria’s Regional Fast Rail Project, Adelaide’s ANZAC Highway and Brisbane’s Airport Link. Thiess has also completed large-scale construction, mining, remediation, and waste management projects in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and New Zealand.
In 2014, CIMIC Group (Thiess’s owner) decided to move all its mining operations to Thiess. (It had Thiess transfer all its construction work to other companies owned by CIMIC Group.)
Thiess now has operations in Australia, Botswana, Canada, Chile, Indonesia and Mongolia. It specialises in major bulk commodities such as metallurgical and thermal coal, copper, diamonds, gold, iron ore, nickel and oil sands. It provides services that cover all four core stages – development, extraction, processing and remediation – of the mining life cycle. It offers “the widest range of in-house surface mining capabilities and critical underground mining services”.
In 2017 Thiess, along with CIMIC Group’s mineral-processing company Sedgman, had combined revenues of almost $3.2 billion.
Thiess is committed to a workplace where all employees feel valued and respected. It prioritises diversity and recognises the importance of inclusion. The company has a vision of everyone matters always. It focuses on three key areas including gender, Indigenous and inclusive culture.
Globally, Thiess has conducted site audits on all offices and projects to ensure facilities support both genders, conducted training for recruiters to ensure diverse recruitment practices and prioritised balanced representation on leadership and development programs.
Thiess has had ambitious Reconciliation Action Plans in place since 2013, with the most recent stretch Reconciliation Action Plan launched in 2017. The plan commits Thiess to promote opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, businesses and communities.
Thiess is a highly motivated mining services contractor proud to work with local communities. The company's commitment to social performance focuses on jobs and training for local people, supporting local business, community engagement and Indigenous affairs. To put it bluntly, Thiess focuses on being a proactive, approachable and positive community member not just a corporate partner. Every project works with community-led grassroots initiatives so that local benefits are generated which last beyond the life of a contract.
While its operations have an obvious environmental impact, Thiess seeks to minimise and repair that impact, adhering to a “smaller footprint, bigger future” philosophy. Across all its mine sites, it aims to manage water effectively, reduce waste and greenhouse emissions, minimise air and noise pollution and practice “smarter reclamation management.”
The recruitment process
Thiess offers a 12-week vacation program. This involves working on site and experiencing what it’s like to be based in a remote location. The program is open to those studying: accounting; finance; health and safety; mechanical or mining engineering and surveying. While not guaranteed a place, those who do the vacation program have “the opportunity to be fast-tracked into the CIMIC Group Graduate Program”.
CIMIC Group – the owner of Thiess, CPB Contractors, Leighton Asia, Sedgman, UGL and EIC Activities – runs a program that “gives graduates the opportunity to learn and develop whilst working on some of the world’s most iconic construction, mining and operations and maintenance projects”.
The program is open to those interested in working in the following business areas:
- Engineering (Mining, Geotechnical, Mechanical, Mechatronic, Civil)
- Supply Chain
- Finance and Accounting
- Health and Safety
- Human Resources
- Innovation/Data Science
- Community Relations
- Corporate Communications
While it’s not specified, you’ll presumably need to have a degree relevant to the field you wish to work in.
The recruitment process for the grad program hasn’t been disclosed and may vary depending on business area. However, it is presumably similar to that for the vacation program. Those wanting a vacation program placement make an online application, do online aptitude testing and an “online video Interview” then take part in a formal panel interview. Given it is the mining industry, applicants should also be prepared for a thorough vetting. This may include reference checks, qualification checks, right to work checks, background checks, fitness to work, as well as drug and alcohol testing.
Those doing the two-year program are provided with “structured on the job training, guided learning plans and leadership mentoring”. They do three eight-month-long rotations with “placements in various roles, projects or operating companies within the group”. They are exposed to industry leaders, work in “challenging, diverse and inclusive environments” and can expect to experience significant “technical, professional and personal growth”.
Thiess is “committed to attracting the best in the business”. This suggests it offers the kind of salary and benefit packages attractive to those with plenty of options. The company also puts a lot of money into providing quality accommodation, facilities and food to those based on its mine sites.
Thiess is big on promoting internally and invests heavily “to build our employees’ capabilities and help establish talent pipelines throughout the business”.
If you show potential, you can expect to be encouraged to enrol in one of the company’s leadership programs. These programs cover “key areas such as team management, change leadership, personal development, long-term strategic planning and corporate social responsibility”.
Even as an entry-level employee, you’ll be contributing to the company’s “high-profile projects” and working alongside colleagues who are “some of the industry’s best talent”. Thiess promises staff they will “gain the flexibility and scope to stretch yourself, to innovate, to build new skills and to advance your career”.
The vibe of the place
The mining industry isn’t for everyone. It usually requires spending long periods at remote locations (and working big days – or nights – while there). On the other hand, it can provide interesting, well-paid work and the opportunity to be posted all over the world. There’s also the camaraderie that comes from working in challenging conditions with other co-workers.
Thiess is known for having a strong safety culture, operating ethically and treating its employees respectfully.
From the Employer:
At Thiess, we recognise the value of an inclusive and diverse workplace through our vision: everyone matters always.
Through this vision, we will build a community where respect, value and thoughtfulness toward each person will underpin their ability to bring their full self to work because here they will be empowered, safe and included.