XSTRATA Coal has turned its Baal Bone underground mine near Cullen Bullen into a first-of-its-kind, hands-on training facility.
The Baal Bone training centre has become Xstrata Coal’s regional training mine, where new underground workers will spend 12 weeks learning their skills.
What’s different from traditional courses is the trainees not only attend classroom tutorials, they complete familiarisation and operations with the equipment on the surface and then proceed underground to operate the equipment in a real-world environment before they start their full time careers.
According to Xstrata Coal’s Baal Bone Health Safety and Training Manager Mark Bulkeley the first group of 12 trainees graduated a few weeks ago and are now working at Ulan West.
“The feedback we’ve received from them is that the Baal Bone training facility enabled them to have a better understanding and knowledge before going into production.
“The program is an industry first and what’s great is that it provides an opportunity for people without any industry experience to learn and practice vital skills that will help them gain employment with us at a time of considerable growth,” Mr Bulkeley said.