Specialist mining training provider Prisma Training Solutions has noted a marked increase in women being trained and employed in the mining sector.
“At times, we have a class filled entirely with women, and some of our training components are being facilitated by women,” says Prisma MD Jacques Farmer.
He tells Mining Weekly that Prisma focuses on career path development for the underground, opencast and mineral processing sectors.
“We have just over 400 different programmes – ranging from career development, mandatory programmes and legal compliance training to safety, health and environmental training – for both surface and underground mining employees.”
All programmes are presented on request and on site, owing to the practical and workplace components of every programme.
Farmer explains that the company’s employing full-time trainers who are stationed at client sites to offer continuous development ensures that learners and employees can learn, practice and apply their competencies through real workplace experience.
Farmer enthuses that the company’s client base includes mining houses and mines in Limpopo, Northern Cape, and Gauteng, as well as other regions.
He stresses that Prisma’s training methods are always customised to ensure that they meet client requirements while “ensuring good-quality content” by updating its courses to address technological advancements in the sector.
“Prisma has partnered with leading technology companies to ensure that it not only understands the changes and adaptations but also forms part of the integration of technology within the industry,” he adds.
Farmer says challenges that Prisma faces in terms of educating and upskilling workers in the underground mining sector include language, availability of staff on site and accessibility.
“In mitigating these challenges, specifically language, we ensure that we address the shortcomings before the actual training, adapting the learning material and providing trainers that can speak the language,” he notes.
Prisma also continuously conducts research on how it can include technology into its learning intervention to improve on both learner progress and downtime at work.
Further, a great deal of energy and emphasis go into how employees need to communicate while working as a team; there are specific training interventions that can be implemented for employees to ensure that communication is not an obstacle while working.
In terms of availability, the client can schedule the training and send learners to the training site, consequently enabling the client to plan around the temporary shortage of team members at the mine operation.
Further, the company ensures accessibility to programmes by informing learners during training about where, when and how they can participate in the training programmes.
“Prisma also focuses on brand awareness to ensure that learners are fully aware of its services and where to find them,” Farmer concludes.