Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) through its Major Projects Team will be conducting its second “Preferred Area Work Experience On-The-Job Training” program in 2023 with the recent intake of 20 students from the Kiunga Vocational Training Centre in Western Province.

The Major Projects Team initiated this program last year with the intake of 7 trades’ students from the institution in various trade fields including mechanical, electrical, boiler making (welding) and carpentry. Upon completion of their training, 4 of these trainees were retained by OTML and are going through their second stage of the skills recognition program.

Project Director Brendan Gowdie said, “The aim of the program is to transfer knowledge and build skills capacity for the development of trades in the Western Province.

“Kiunga Vocational is in our backyard and it is quite obvious that the prospects of securing a job in the students’ fields of study and in their local area is minimal, thus the idea to assist by providing an avenue for them to do on-the-job training at Major Projects, Mine and Tabubil mechanical workshops to develop their chosen skillsets.”

He elaborated that a lot of the graduates from this institution would have to travel out of Kiunga to look for opportunities to further develop their skills attained from school.

“The results and feedback received from the pioneer year’s intakes further showed the need to continue this program and we also involved our OTML Training Department in this program to ensure sustainability of this program to further develop our young people in the province in years to come,” Mr Gowdie said.

Aligning with OTML’s vision to deliver sustainable socio-economic benefits for its people, the Company is committed to ensuring the people of Western Province are equipped to sustain their own livelihoods after the Life of Mine.

OTML Managing Director and CEO, Kedi Ilimbit further emphasised this commitment when sending a welcome message to the trainees.

Mr Ilimbit said, “OTML will build on this Kiunga Vocational Centre pathway and create further opportunities for young people to progress towards their Certificate in their chosen fields.”

The trainees will go through a 3-month hands-on training program within the OTML operations under the Major Projects, Mining, and Infrastructure Support Services Teams. This program is supported by one of OTML’s Umbrella Company Tabubil Development Corporation.

OTML continues to provide numerous training to its local communities’ workforce and Papua New Guinea as a whole, through its Graduate Development Scheme, the Apprenticeship Program, the Preferred Area Development Training Program and its ongoing on-the-job training throughout its operations in various identified upskilling or advancement training programs.

As of 2022, OTML had invested K140Million on education and training of graduates, apprentices and trade trainees and school and university scholarships.

The Ok Tedi Mine is 100% PNG owned with the State of PNG through the Kumul Minerals Ok Tedi Ltd owning 67% while three Western Province entities hold the remaining 33%.