It works out OK so long as you can move about
STEVE Ayerst, 54, is the modern day version of Henry Lawson's roaming sheep shearer, travelling the country finding work wherever it may be.
The difference these days is that Mr Ayerst has help between jobs, unlike the sheep shearers who were left to their own devices (and vices).
A rigger and scaffolder by trade, Mr Ayerst finds himself in and out of jobs on a regular basis.
"Most jobs are shut-down work, it's very hard to get a permanent job these days,'' he said.
Some jobs may last a year, others two-and-a-half years. The job he has now at Stanwell Power Station will be for a week. "You have to grab the work when it's there.
"While I'm here I met some new mates and they say there's work in Townsville,'' Mr Ayerst said about the next direction he will be looking for work in.
If he finds himself out of work for more than a couple of weeks though it is employment agency Minniecon and Bourke that he falls back on.
Mr Ayerst's last trip to Minniecon and Bourke resulted in ad- vice that broadened his workplace horizons.
Even with skills and experience, getting work is not as straight forward as people may think, Paul Clifford, Minniecon and Bourke Rockhampton job shop manager, said.
"With the mines, they require people to be medically and physically fit and proven to be drug free,'' he said.
"And they need to get their inductions before the mines will even look at them.''
The employment agency was able to help Mr Ayerst upgrade the tickets he needed to get the employment he wanted.
Just as important to Mr Ayerst was being able to use a computer to upgrade his resume, use of faxes to send off his resume and the general advice provided on the industry to be employable to them.
To get the job he is in now, Mr Ayerst went through The Morning Bulletin and answered an advertisement.
"I rang them up and asked about the work, and they wanted me to fax my resume.''
Without a fax machine Mr Ayerst went to his office away from home and asked Minniecon and Bourke to fax it. "They just go right out of their way to help,'' he said.