Pilot program gives students work skills

Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall (middle row at centre) called into the CSA Mine last Tuesday to present Certificates of Completion to Cobar High School students participating in a mining skills pilot program that aims to give students an advantage to help them to find work in the mining field.

When it comes to getting a job in the mining industry, a group of 11 Cobar High School (CHS) students has “gotten the jump” on other students around the state.

The CHS students have recently completed a nine week Work Skills Preparation course at the CSA Mine.

The pilot course, which required students to spend one day a week on site at CSA, helped them to complete nine recognised competencies of the Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package.

Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall visited the mine site last Tuesday to see first hand how the pilot course was working and to present the students with their certificates of completion.

“This is a tremendous opportunity which no other students right across the state got.

This is a pilot program so you literally have been the guinea pigs,” Mr Marshall said.

“This has given you a bit of an insight of what this mine is all about and the mining industry per se.

“It’s a really good career to get into, it’s a career that can take you all around Australia or even all away around the world and it doesn’t pay too bad!” he said.

Minister Marshall said he was pleased to see a number of female students taking part in the program.

“That’s terrific because we need more females in the mining sector and they’re actually better employees,” he said.

“I hope you think seriously about taking what you’ve learnt here and converting into a job, or a traineeship or maybe an apprenticeship,” Minister Marshall told the students.

“You’re a long way ahead of other people, your peers, right across the state who haven’t had a chance to do this.”

CSA’s Human Resources Superintendent Scott Purdie said the course had a strong practical/experimental component where the students use the mine’s resources and equipment and interact with a wide cross-section of employees.

“The graduates will be well placed to win apprenticeships and traineeships upon completion of their HSC,” Mr Purdie said.

He said the high attendance rate from the students demonstrated they were interested and keen to participate in the program.