Posts by Joanna Gaskell - Education Editor:

Australia Launches Initiative to Encourage Women in Mining

The Australia Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) has been formed to encourage more women to find a career for themselves in the mining industry. A series of strategies will be launched to increase retention of women, and attraction of women to the industry, reports Australian Mining.
[Australian Mines and Metals director Minna Knight says] "AWRA will build on many of the industry initiatives and networking groups already doing things for female resources workers, this project now gives us an opportunity to unite all these organisations under one banner and take a nationally co-ordinated approach." This announcement comes as the Women in Industry Conference in Sydney this week looked to address the under representation of women in these industries.

Suncor Energy improves haul-truck operator instruction using innovative curriculum

Chuck Frey, marketing manager for VISTA Training Inc., explains how Suncor Energy used VISTA to improve the training curriculum of their haul truck operators.
A key element in the success of this training program is that it was extended to include the truck mentors — the critical link in the transfer of knowledge from the learning lab to the real-world environment of the haul truck. Suncor made a major investment in developing its mentors by taking them through the entire training program, providing them with coaching skills and tools, and by providing a forum where they could share their concerns and discuss how to overcome obstacles encountered during field training.

York University Engineering Department Receives $25 Million from Mining Entrpreneur

Pierre Lassonde, co-founder of Franco-Nevada Mining Corp., is donating $25 million to develop York University's engineering department, which has up to this point been noted as lacking in student body, identity and vision.
"In 20 years, I hope the engineering school will be right up there with the business school," Lassonde told dozens of guests crammed into the existing computer and engineering building, which will now be known as the Lassonde building. "Education, for me, is absolutely number one in terms of philanthropy. Education is the foundation of democracy."

South African Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources Urges Skills Building for the South African Mining Industry

BuaNews: Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources Godfrey Oliphant is urging the South African Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) to continue building skills programs to benefit the mining sector, currently suffering from a skills shortage.
Oliphant, who was addressing the Annual Consultative Conference on Friday, commended the MQA for focusing on grassroots activities like Adult Basic Education and Training, career development initiatives, bursaries, workplace coaching programme and development of black managers in the mining sector. "I am encouraged by the research that is currently being done focusing on workplace skills plans and annual training reports. I encourage employers in the sector to work with labour actively to undertake and build on this crucial area of skills development," he said.

Norilsk Mickel and Bellona hold Seminar on Cross-Border Metal Processing Pollution

Bellona reports: the Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company (GMK), a division of the smelting giant Norilsk Nickel, and international environmental NGO Bellona discussed environmental problems today in a seminar regarding Norilsk Nickel's metal works on the Kola Peninsula.
The seminar’s name reflects its goal: “Interaction between governmental structures, business, academia and civil society – an instrument for improving environmental safety in the region.”

New Skills Program for Mining and Forestry in Northern BC

As a part of BC's job plan, a new training program to address a skills shortage in forestry and mining was announced today, reports Energetic City.
Over the next 18 months, $2.9 billion will be provided for the program. The pilot is intended to offer training in key areas such as language and literacy training, technology upgrades, numeracy and document use. Training will be provided through local service providers through USW (the United Steelworkers Unions).

NW Australian Girls Encouraged to Consider the Resource Industry

Today's 4Girls2 Professional Pathways showcase in Northwest Australia's Overlander Hotel will give local young women the opportunity to speak to female Xstrata Mount Isa Mines employees about careers for women in mining, The North West Star reports.
The event, hosted by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), Office for Women and Xstrata Mount Isa Mines, will introduce local girls to career options in the resources sector. Focusing primarily on geology, environmental and engineering careers, the event will include interactive sessions where students will solve practical problems with the help of Xstrata mentors.

Clancy Yeates: Businesses Need to take the Lead on the Mining Skills Shortage

Clancy Yeates from Business Day writes that mining businesses need to take a more proactive approach, and train workers to fill their job vacancies, rather than poaching workers from other industries.
[The] rise [in] temporary migration is hardly surprising when unemployment is falling, which it did in the year to June. But it should also be kept in mind when business groups call for higher levels of migration and more public support to meet labour shortages. On top of 457 visas, miners also have access to enterprise migration agreements, a new special visa class that allows the mass importation of skilled workers for the biggest projects. So while training has gone backwards in the epicentre of the boom, miners have more and more options for using skilled workers from overseas.

Hunter Area Mining Projects Struggling for Workers

Mines in the Upper Hunter area of Australia are suffering from a serious skills shortage that will be affecting not only the coal industry but all other businesses that are competing with the mines for skilled workers. However, local coal companies may be not be helping as much as they could, reports the Newcastle Herald.
The region's TAFE colleges have recognised the issue and are gearing up their training courses to fill the need. They can't do this alone, however. Unfortunately, it appears that the commitment of coal companies to training local personnel may be a little patchy.

Government of Mozambique Aims to Train 4000 for the Mining Sector over Four Years

Facing a skills shortage in mining, the government of Mozambique is planning to train 4000 people for the mining industry over the next four years, including geologists, engineers and metallurgists, reports Club of Mozambique.
Speaking about the current situation, [Mozambican Mining Resources minister Esperança] Bias said that every year Eduardo Mondlane University took on around 20 students for this area and trained around half of them and that at the Higher Polytechnic Institute the total number of trainees was between 20 and 30 per year. These figures are still far below requirements, as, according to the minister, “if we analyse current mining activities in Mozambique, we can immediately see that the number of professionals that leave educational establishments is very small.”

Underground Mining Basics Training Centre Could be Headed to Illawarra

Mining contractor Mastermyne is opening a new NSW training facility for underground miners, and wants it to be running early next year, possibly in the Illawarra, reports the Illawarra Mercury.
The simulated mining experience, built using shipping containers, would be modelled on the company's existing facility in Mackay. Managing director Tony Caruso said BlueScope Steel's decision to cut about 800 jobs at the Port Kembla steelworks was the "catalyst to get things moving". "When we saw the BlueScope announcement we thought it made sense to look at that, and obviously there's a large pool of labour there that's going to become redundant and is going to need somewhere to go."