NEWCREST’S training partnership with two local training providers is another example of how the resource boom has delivered benefits to Australians which go far beyond shareholders.
The sector has been a standout employer in recent years and despite a plateauing in mining construction and a softening in global demand Orange has been, and continues to be, a beneficiary of the mining sector.
Cadia’s underground expansion work has peaked and the contract labour force in town has declined but there are still opportunities for those wanting a career in mining.
So much so that Cadia Valley Operations considered supporting a certificate program in resources as the best way to address a skills shortage.
Graduates of the course have found work with Cadia here and in Western Australia, and with other mining companies scattered around the country.
For some, very well paid work in the mining sector will mean joining the fly-in fly-out workforce which keeps many remote sites operating.
Providing this type of employment has been one of the biggest criticisms the mining industry has been subject to.
Detractors say a fly-in fly-out workforce can create social problems and put a strain on local services while not contributing to the community.
A permanent mining workforce integrated into the community, as exists in Orange, is of course the ideal, but this is simply not going to happen in Australia’s more remote mining sites and those communities have to accept that or miss out.
But it should also be remembered that fly-in workers have to fly back to somewhere and it is there that most of the benefits flow.
With Newcrest Mining’s expansion of training and management in Orange, an increasing number of workers will fly home to Orange.
But they will have the company of other miners working for other mine operators in NSW and right across the country.