Management of Ahafo Mine of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) is to spend 530,000 dollars on skills training for 28 youth within its operational area.
An average of 17,000 dollars would be spent on each apprentice during the four-year training programme in welding and fabrication, industrial mechanics and electrical installation.
Mr Case DeBruijn, Manager of Learning and Development Department of the mine, announced this at the matriculation of the trainees at Kenyasi in Asutifi District of Brong-Ahafo Region on Thursday.
They were drawn from Kenyasi Number One, Kenyasi Number Two, Wamahinso and Gyedu, in the district, and Adrobaa, Yamfo, Susuanso and Techire in Tano North District.
The ceremony coincided with the passing-out of 19 youths who had completed plant electrical and mechanical training.
Mr DeBruijn explained that the company had employed more than 150 youths in the communities who underwent rigorous assessment and training programmes.
He said the Ahafo Mine project was the largest mining operation in the region and management faced a big challenge in recruiting technically competent technical skills from the communities.
“It is to meet this challenge that the apprentice programme has been designed and implemented to encourage the youth of Ahafo to learn specific employable skills needed in mining and other related fields,” Mr DeBruijn said.
Mr Nick R. Cotts, Regional Vice President, Environmental and Social Responsibility, said the skill building programme was in fulfilment of a promise made by the management to the communities under the employment segment of the Ahafo Social Responsibility Agreement.
“This programme follows the initial implementation of an unskilled and semi-skilled labour pool training programme for more than 700 individuals, which supplied the project with labour during the construction phase,” he said.
He said human resource development had been identified as a priority by the Ahafo Social Responsibility Forum, adding that management believed its relationship with the communities was linked to its success in the mining operation.
Mr Cotts gave the assurance that management would continue to seek efforts to improve performance in its core business of mining while developing local capacity and technical skills.