Specialist mining training provider Prisma Training Solutions is finalising its applications to open a formal training centre in Accra, Ghana, together with a local partner.
Prisma offers customised and sustainable education, training and organisational development solutions to the African mining sector.
Prisma MD Jacques Farmer explains that the application has been submitted to industry body, the Ghana Chamber of Mines, and Prisma and its partner are “patiently waiting” to hear from the chamber as to whether its application has been successful.
“Our local partners in Ghana have already secured a premises for the training through a prominent mining house in the district, which will enable us to equip and open the training facility as soon as approval is granted,” he adds.
The company aims to use the training centre as a springboard into other West African countries, such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with further growth planned to the east, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Prisma previously sent a facilitator to clients in West Africa for periods ranging from two weeks to a year, depending on the scope of the training provided.
Prisma will recruit community members around its operations to facilitate skills and knowledge transfer among its host communities, consequently solidifying Prisma’s goal of creating a permanent footprint in those areas.
Farmer adds that the company aims to follow a “blended approach” in its training that fulfils the entire career-path requirements of the mining sector; from learner mineworkers, progressing up the developmental chain to fully qualified mine managers.
Consequently, the company has added mineral processing and metallurgy to its course portfolio to expand on its “full-circle mining” training approach.
“Prisma offers training, from entry level machine operators to mineral processing and mine management, in a range of languages and mediums,” he enthuses.
Language can often be a challenge when dealing with mines in different countries.
“We mitigate these challenges by providing training not only in English but also the language that is most commonly used in those countries,” he adds.
Additionally, all training material is translated into clients’ language of choice, and all added support and technologies are aligned with the chosen language.
“Our learning material or learning dimensions are based on three pillars,” says Farmer.
Firstly, all materials comply to benchmark standards for the sector, including national and international standards.
Secondly, learning is based on mine-specific standard operating procedures and codes of practice to ensure that the training aligns with the mine’s manner of operation.
“We offer product- and machine-specific training as our third pillar,” he says.
For example, should a client use a specific brand of machine, then training will be done using that brand, according to the brand’s training and instruction manuals.
Farmer adds that, over the past two years, virtual training has increased exponentially and has allowed for the fast-tracking of training in remote areas.
Additional technological advances include using virtual reality (VR) and simulators to train operators and underground simulation.
“We have VR and effective simulator suppliers that make our blended approach to training easier, safer and much more economically viable,” says Farmer, adding that the blended approach to training will never fully replace face-to-face training interventions but will only streamline the effectiveness of training by reducing the actual time for a learner to reach full competency.