Last month, our team in Chile launched the first Thiess apprenticeship program in the Americas.
Named Programa de Mantenimiento Mecánico de Equipos Móviles, the initiative is designed to provide education and practical training in maintenance to people who have little to no experience in the mining industry.
Four women and four men will join the first group of apprentices and upon completion of the program will earn a recognised qualification in the mechanic field.
Building capacity to deliver excellence
The apprenticeship program will span six months and function as a partnership between Thiess and CEIM (Centro de Entrenamiento Industrial y Minero), a technical education institution in Antofagasta, Chile.
The program is divided into two parts. The first two months will take place at CEIM’s facilities and focus on developing academic knowledge in maintenance. During the following four months, the apprentices will specialise by spending time working at Thiess’ Innovation, Technology and Training Center (ITTEC) in La Negra, Antofagasta. Here the apprentices will gain more practical experience working alongside our maintenance personnel in the field.
South America Asset Manager Juan Pablo Congote, said the apprenticeship program is critical to the future of Thiess in Chile.
“One of our biggest strengths is our operational optimisation and our equipment performance. To continue providing world-class service to our clients, we must invest in the next generation of maintenance specialists.”
“Our commitment to providing continual learning and education for our people is also of major importance, as we strive to maintain an industry-leading fleet and implement the best technology as it becomes available,” said Juan Pablo.
Developing an engaged, inclusive workforce
To celebrate the launch of the program, Thiess hosted a small ceremony at CEIM where representatives from CEIM and SENSE (Servicio Nacional de Capacitacion y Empleo) welcomed the apprentices and spoke on the necessity for the mining industry to continue attracting capable people, as well as the significance of shared learning opportunities.
Manager Organisation Development and Training, Americas, Alejandra Arze, said at Thiess we know that development and innovation can only happen to the extent that we are committed to people.
“That is why supporting new talent in mining is essential. We firmly believe that mining today needs ambassadors, who are motivated to find new and better ways of doing things, who are adaptable and can meet the challenges we face today, while anticipating those we will face in the future,” said Alejandra.
Create lasting value
Programa de Mantenimiento Mecánico de Equipos Móviles was developed through a concentrated effort by the Training and Development team in Chile – Alejandra, Carla and Pedro Olivares, with the intention of preparing the apprentices for Thiess' maintenance demands, as well as to foster a spirit of continual learning as technology advances.
“We want this group to take advantage of the opportunity to increase their knowledge and gain practical experience, but above all, we hope they enjoy the work and pass on that enthusiasm to others, so that together, we can build the mining industry of the future,” said Alejandra.