Banks Mining launches bespoke training and licensing scheme to broaden workforce skillset

March 25, 2015 | Brenkley News

Training opportunities available to more than 250 operational employees at North East company Banks Mining have been significantly enhanced through a major investment in a new bespoke licensing scheme.

The family-owned firm is introducing a new modular training programme to provide a framework through which skills and career development opportunities can be extended and improved to the benefit of both employees and the business.

The scheme aims to go beyond current minerals industry standards by offering plant operators the chance to broaden their knowledge and experience in the safe, responsible and efficient ways of working with new site designs, equipment and techniques.

As part of the project, Banks Mining has invested in both a full-time trainer to lead the new scheme and new on-site training facilities at its Shotton surface mine in South East Northumberland.

The new system also includes a management development programme for operational employees on all of Banks’ mining sites which shows them exactly how they can progress through the company’s ranks and what they need to do to make each upward move.

Founded in County Durham in 1976, The Banks Group now employs over 420 people in surface mining, renewable energy and property development, with more than 200 of them based at its Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines in North East England.

Keith Tarn, human resources manager at The Banks Group, says: “Attracting, developing and retaining high calibre staff, and equipping them with the right range and breadth of skills is a key challenge for any modern business, and the decision to develop our own licensing scheme has been driven by the need to ensure we’re fully equipped to meet this challenge.

“We’ve developed a framework which gives our people the chance to develop their skills and knowledge on new equipment, designs and techniques.  It is also vital that all employees fully understand our development with care approach to responsible business practice and apply it in the carrying out of their duties.

“We’ve provided a carefully-planned and detailed training programme through which they can improve their understanding, individual competencies and develop their careers.

“Participants will benefit by developing new skills that they can use through their careers, while the business will look to gain real advantages from an even safer working environment, enhanced productivity, improved staff retention and other operational efficiencies.

“It’s not uncommon for our employees to progress from working as a site operative through becoming a supervisor or even manager, and the management development programme sets out how all the members of our mining teams can move their careers forwards with us.

“Banks Mining has always tried to set new standards for our industry, whether through developing world-leading noise suppression technologies, our ‘Restoration First’ approach in the early stages of site operations or the long-term contributions we’ve made to the communities around our mines, and we believe this extended training provision offers another example of our commitment to work in a safe, responsible and efficient way.”

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