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Council calls for program review to aid retrenched miners

rasp headframe

A fear among some in the community is that job losses for miners – whether already lost or to come – will result in an exodus of skilled tradespeople in the region and it’s led to the City Council writing to state and federal ministers asking them to push ahead with upcoming mining projects, along with boosting the Smart and Skilled program.

CBH Resource’s Rasp Mine is in a staged closure which has already seen 49 people lose their jobs out of around 200 of the total workforce and contractors and local workers have already been targeted by external businesses who hope to lure them interstate.

The concern surrounding the potential draining of locally skilled workers is underlined, given Broken Hill is set to host several major mining and green energy projects soon, including Hawsons, Cobalt Blue, and the Hydrostor CAES project.

The Council is asking for government assistance to lessen ‘red tape’ to speed upcoming projects, with Broken Hill Mayor Tom Kennedy saying it was important when it came to any new mining proposals.

“That needs to be done so that there’s a transition if people do lose their jobs at Rasp [Mine], they can move straight into employment that’s already in Broken Hill or the immediate region,” he said.

“Training is another important one. We did meet with one of the regional training organisations. What they said is [it’s] very difficult to actually train people that have just been made redundant because the programs are only really for people looking for employment rather than people that already have employment, that have lost their jobs but aren’t receiving benefits.”

Smart and Skilled is an initiative from the state government which provides subsidised training for essential qualifications in sought-after skills and industries, focusing on specific geographic and occupational sectors. For more information, visit https://skills.education.nsw.gov.au/nsw-fee-free/mining

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