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Business News of Sunday, 13 October 2013

Source: GNA

Ahafo mine employees benefit from SIAST course

Twenty-three local employees at the Ahafo Project of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) in the Asutifi District of Brong-Ahafo Region have completed various advanced courses in welding and presented with certificates.

The Canadian Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) offered the training in Gas Tungsten Arc welding, Shielded Metal Arc Welding and Gas Metal Arc Welding for the technicians at the company’s plant site at Kenyasi number two.

Others courses employees benefited from included Canadian Welding Bureau, Flux Core Arc Welding and American Welding Society. The transcripts for the technicians would be officially recorded on the SIAST student information system in the same fashion as any other SIAST learner, Mr Joy Amegbe, Regional Manager, Learning and Development of the Ahafo Mine said on Friday.

He explained that welding was one of the most critical trades in the mining and the petrochemical industries and for that matter the company’s reliance on the expertise of welders could not be overemphasized. Mr Amegbe said the training had proved very significant to the mine’s operations; key among them was increased skill capacity among NGGL employees and increased productivity.

Due to the success of the programme at Ahafo, it has been introduced at our Akyem project where three local apprentices recently completed three months training in welding and have been awarded an internationally recognized certificate to augment the company’s operational requirements at the mine maintenance department in Akyem, he said.

The programme, Mr Amegbe explained, would further create job opportunities for the local community members through skill enhancement and training to meet the staffing needs of the mine. Mr Ian Myles, Acting Canadian High Commissioner in Accra said Canada recognized that enhancing the skills of the local labour force is a key element in enhancing the overall socio-economic impact of mining and other industrial activities.

He said the Canadian government was proud of SIAST, which had delivered skills development training to mining and other industries in Canada and globally, helping to develop safe and efficient workers and at the same time helping industrial partners such as Newmont to meet their local labour force development objectives.

Mr Joep Coenon, General Manager, Operations, NGGL Ahafo mine, said Newmont recognized training as an excellent opportunity to continuously build the capacity of its workforce for enhanced performance.

He explained that the mine partnered with SIAST in 2010 to develop the capacity of the welders so they could internally handle all welding works on site to save the company from subcontracting most of its welding works to third party contractors.

Mr Coenon said the company had so far spent 512,000 dollars on the trainees since 2010 and was optimistic that those who had completed the training would use the skills acquired to enhance, not only productivity in the company, but also, their individual lives and others around them.

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