Polish solution for Australian skills shortage

EXPERIENCED underground coal miners from Poland and Europe could alleviate the critical skills shortage that is leading to the delay of the installation of longwalls such as Whitehaven Coal’s Narrabri project in New South Wales, according to Building Business Bridges.
Polish solution for Australian skills shortage Polish solution for Australian skills shortage Polish solution for Australian skills shortage Polish solution for Australian skills shortage Polish solution for Australian skills shortage

Polish rescuers play it up for the camera.

Lou Caruana

Many Polish miners are keen to work in Australia and BBB has an office in Poland where the recruitment process has been refined over the last five years.

Polish miners were constantly looking to BBB to secure alternative employment for them around the world, its managing director Kev Sabin said.

"We have a safety and operational performance track record that we are extremely proud of and we are ready to develop that in Australia,” he said.

"Our objective is to fill a skills gap, not provide cheap labour, and our primary concern is the safety of our staff and those with whom they interact.

“We are also working in India, Turkey and Colombia, where our success and particularly our flexible approach to providing mining solutions have been recognised.”

BBB had a track record of taking experienced Polish mining staff of all disciplines – mining, electrical and mechanical, including supervisors and management – to an English-speaking mining country and integrating them with the indigenous workforce, Sabin said.

BBB is currently operating at major UK coal mines, in Turkey, Colombia and Iran, and is regularly involved in longwall moves, development driveage, roadway repair work and major infrastructure projects, according to Sabin.

BBB recognised the need to ensure that all its workforce was trained to the same high standards as Australia and would ensure that all personnel complied with Australian competencies, he said.

Sabin and BBB chairman Ziggy Koprowski will be in Australia from tomorrow to meet with mining companies.

“Whilst in Australia we will be speaking to the relevant training bodies and immigration agents to ensure a smooth transition,” Sabin said.

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