Mining company's investment in life skills wins innovation award

Date: 8-Oct-2012

HSE Mining has reason to celebrate, having been announced winner of the coveted Innovation Award in the Resource Company category at Kinetic 2012 Training Awards held in Brisbane.


The Innovation Award is the most coveted award of the Kinetic 2012 Training Awards, recognising resource companies and training service providers that have made an innovative and original contribution to workforce development and planning across the Australian resources industry.
In a proactive move to ensure the long-term sustainability of its operations and workforce, HSE Mining introduced its Life Skills Program in the Northern Territory.
Life Skills is a two-week work readiness scheme providing people with the opportunity to learn the skills of a Trainee Operator, away from the stresses of a high-pressure production environment.
Kinetic Group CEO, Derek Hunter, commended on how HSE’s practical approach was refreshing.
“What we really liked was HSE’s proactive commitment to instilling trainees with a ‘walk tall’ philosophy which allows them to develop a fresh, positive perspective towards work life,” he said.
HSE Mining has more than 650 employees across mining projects in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
“Like many other organisations in the mining industry, we have felt the impacts of the skills shortage, particularly in the attraction and retention of employees for equipment operator roles in open cut mining.” Said Graeme Bradshaw, Learning and Development Manager at HSE Mining.
Operated from the company’s Limbunya pastoral operation in the Northern Territory, Life Skills trainees participate in structured activities to accelerate skill development and prepare them to quickly get up to speed in a site role.
Trainees learn the basic skills of machinery operation and maintenance under the guidance of the Life Skills Program Supervisor, and participate in mustering, fencing, cooking and cleaning to promote teamwork, decision making and the development of pride in their work.
Since its inception in 2010, the Life Skills Program has engaged over 168 people from non-mining backgrounds; 128 successfully completed the program and gained full time employment with HSE.  Over 80% of these trainees remain employed by HSE, delivering significant benefits in workforce retention and a reduction in recruitment costs and reliance on labour hire.
According to Graeme, the cost of putting one employee through the program is a significant investment for HSE.
“We feel it’s money well spent.  The program is now an integral part of our workforce planning and development strategy and will be improved and expanded in 2013,” he said.

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