A SUNSHINE Coast man says people are being conned into thinking there is an abundance of high-paying mining positions after he spent thousands on related qualification courses and sent off hundreds of job applications to no avail.
All Kureelpa married father of four Scott Rushton wants is to get a foot in the door through an entry-level job such as truck driving, but has been left frustrated by the mining companies' cold shoulder.
The 41-year-old former soldier, who has vast experience in the building and construction industry, has not even managed to secure a face-to-face interview despite moving to Mackay for a short time after being told that would improve his chances of landing a job.
Mr Rushton's broadside at the mining industry follows the huge public interest generated from the staging of Mining and Gas Jobs Expos around the state late last year.
Thousands of people attended a Caloundra expo in October.
Senior government minister Paul Lucas attended the expo and hailed what he said were the high number of high-paying jobs in the sector.
But after speaking to many other hopefuls during his courses, Mr Rushton said it appeared there were plenty of jobs so long as you already had experience in the industry or knew someone in the sector.
"I've done all the national competency courses for mining, but just can't get a start," he said.
"My experience is fairly typical of people like myself.
"I may have a lot of industry experience in construction and a good work record, but because I haven't had any experience in the mining industry they won't even look at you."
The Daily has learned through a well-placed industry figure that there is not a high demand for entry-level jobs. Tradespeople, engineers and geologists are the most sought-after professionals.
Employment, Skills and Mining Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said some 24,000 potential employees had been identified over the past six months through the Work for Queensland Expos and Resources 101 training courses.
"Attending an expo or taking part in a training course does not guarantee anyone a job, but it does offer a first step towards gaining employment in the industry," he said.