Our Baal Bone underground coal mine in New South Wales, Australia has developed the first-of-its-kind, hands-on training facility.

The Baal Bone regional training mine allows new underground workers to spend 12 weeks learning the skills necessary for their work. The training centre is different to more traditional facilities, as trainees not only attend classroom tutorials but, after completing familiarisation exercises on the surface, they go underground to operate the equipment in a supervised 'real-world' environment.

"The programme 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," explains Baal Bone Training Operations Manager. "The feedback we've received from graduates is that the Baal Bone training facility enabled them to have a better understanding and knowledge before going into production. "

The Baal Bone Training Centre allows Glencore to attract and employ people without previous mining experience. One such participant is Julie Tiggermann, one of three female underground operators. "It's a whole new world for me. I expected to and have done the same as the guys, using the same equipment, doing the same work. The trainers are great and I've gained experience on juggernauts, Eimco's and shuttle cars. The courses are also comprehensive and have included emergency response activities."