In 2012 Shenhua Watermark Coal started a project with the Hunter Valley Training Centre North West to assist eight local students to achieve traineeships that could kick-start their careers while completing their Year 12 certificate. The positions were advertised through the local schools (the schools considered to be within the Shenhua Watermark Mine local area).
Candidates were selected based on tests and interviews with the top eight students being placed into School Based Traineeships with local employers. The trainee wages were paid by Shenhua Watermark and the local employers assisted the project by supplying the work site and the on-the-job training component.
In 2013 Shenhua Watermark was nominated for the NSW Training Awards and was ultimately a finalist in the Industry Collaboration of the Year category for its Traineeship program.
Seven of the eight School Based Trainees have at this stage been offered or commenced Apprenticeships. A successful outcome for both the students, employers and Shenhua Watermark.
Kain Montague from Quirindi High School completed his traineeship in Cert 2 Fabrication with Tamarang Engineering. Kain has recently been offered an Apprenticeship with Tamarang Engineering. Kain said his focus on obtaining a traineeship with Shenhua was to ultimately cement his future career. This has been achieved by his offer of an Apprenticeship which could not have been easily done without the assistance of the Shenhua traineeship program.
Rodney Hatch, Tamarang Engineering Workshop Manager, said the program has made all the difference for a small employer to be supported by Shenhua. It has given us his training for free and it was also an opportunity to establish a business relationship with Shenhua for future local engagement.
Shenhua Watermark's Traineeship Program is one part of the Company's total commitment package for the Project. In particular Shenhua has committed to the continuation of the School-based Traineeship Program when the Watermark Mine is approved and built. That continuing program will support eight students per year for the life of the Project. This includes both indigenous and non-indigenous students.
Graham Grant, HVTC Regional Manager, Gerry McDonald, Shenhua HR Manager, Debbie Watson, Shenhua Community Liaison Officer, Kain Montogue, Shenhua Trainee and Rodney Hatch, Workshop Manager Tamarang Engineering.