The first new recruits who’ve been drawn from the communities around the new Bradley surface mine in County Durham have started work on site.
North East employer Banks Mining has taken on five new plant operatives and a new labourer who all live locally to the Bradley site, which sits off the A692 between Leadgate and Dipton, as part of the first phase of recruitment for the project.
And a further six colleagues who live in the area, but who were previously working in specialist positions at Banks Mining’s Shotton surface mine in Northumberland, have chosen to relocate to a new workplace much closer to home in the same sorts of roles.
Banks Mining made a direct appeal to those living in surrounding communities to put themselves forward for the plant and general operative roles it was offering at the Bradley site, with most of the several dozen applications subsequently received coming from people living within a few miles of the site.
A further nine jobs are expected to be filled locally in the coming weeks, with additional phases of recruitment scheduled to follow later in the summer.
Alongside those working on site, the project will also support further jobs in the local supply chain, while a related community benefits fund which will support local community improvement projects and initiatives will go live later in the year.
Operations at the site will run for between two and three years, with all on site activity complete in 2021. Restoration will include the creation of a new nature reserve and parkland area, as well as the return of some of the land to agricultural use.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, says: “We have a strong track record of employing people living in the communities around our projects wherever possible, which is part of our promise to bring direct benefits to these locations.
“We very much focused our recruitment drive for the new Bradley jobs on local people with the skills and experience required for the available roles, and are extremely pleased to already have local people benefitting from the employment opportunities we are creating there.
“We place a great deal of emphasis on ensuring our highly-skilled employees are equipped with the skills they need to do their jobs as safely and efficiently as possible, and will be providing any training required by our new recruits to enable them to do the work required.
“Coal remains an essential ingredient for a wide variety of important UK industrial processes, such as the manufacturing of cement and steel, while government projections state that it will continue to be an important part of the UK’s energy mix until at least 2025.”
Founded in Tow Law, County Durham in 1976, Banks Mining has operated and restored 111 surface mines across Scotland and northern England over the last four decades, and currently employs around 200 people at its Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines near Cramlington in Northumberland.