Training helps fill local skills gap at Pascua-Lama

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Training helps fill local skills gap at Pascua-Lama

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Yonathan Morales stands in front of a Komatsu truck.

Monday, February 11, 2013 - 11:00am

Within hours of learning about a Barrick-sponsored training program that could lead to full-time jobs driving haul trucks at its Pascua-Lama project, Yonathan Morales went to the company’s office in his hometown of Alto del Carmen to apply.

Morales was one of 200 applicants for the Heavy Equipment Operators course, and one of two dozen to be accepted for the first phase that began in July.
 
After successfully completing the in-class portion of the program, which included courses in math, physics and leadership skills, Morales advanced to the three-month internship program that teaches participants how to drive massive 930 Komatsu trucks around the site. “I am thrilled to be working at Pascua-Lama as a mining operator intern,” says Morales.
 
His goal is to land a full-time position at Pascua-Lama as soon as possible and build a career in mining. He hopes to save enough money to buy a house someday for his family in Alto del Carmen, located in northern Chile about 170 kilometers west of Pascua-Lama in the Huasco province.
 
A priority for Barrick has been to maximize labor from local communities to build Pascua-Lama, which traverses the Argentine-Chilean border, making it the world’s first bi-national mining project. But recruiting local people with the necessary skill level has sometimes been a challenge. This includes mechanics, electricians and heavy equipment operators, vital skills in a large-scale project like Pascua-Lama, where state-of-the-art mining facilities are under construction.
 
Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Argentina | Chile | Mining | Pascua-Lama project | Training | barrick beyond borders | csr | jobs | leadership skills | sustainability

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