Mining workforce trainer eyes capitalisation of African mining uptick

Mining sector training solutions provider Prisma Training Solutions is hoping to position its tailored training solutions to capitalise on the expectation of an increase in mining activity in Africa, as well as an uptick in the volume of people expected to join the mining work force in the coming years.

“We are looking at not only upskilling current employees for better performance levels, but also hoping to cross-skill employees so they’re able to understand the different spectrums of the mining industry,” says Prisma MD Jacques Farmer.

He adds that Prisma also believes the safety element of its training capabilities is something that will increase over the coming months with more contracting companies entering the sector.

Farmer notes the increasing prices of commodities as well as increased mining listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, which indicates an increase in mining activity in South Africa.

He points out that Prisma currently has six branches strategically placed throughout South Africa to ensure the company is “always on the doorstep” of its clients.

These branches also make providing tailored training solutions more convenient.

Farmer particularly highlights important mining areas in the country – such as the commodities-rich provinces of the Northern Cape, the North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces – and that the company is especially active in these areas.

He notes that mining activity has increased in Mpumalanga in particular, during the past six months. This increased activity can be partly attributed to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, as the war has placed strain on supply for renewable-energy systems, increasing demand for minerals such as coal for electricity generation.

Prisma provides learnerships for a range of mining activities, including mineral processing, beneficiation and rock breaking certificates for surface or underground mining.

The company also provides qualifications which relate to supervising positions during mine operations.

Farmer also points out that Prisma expects an uptick in people looking to enter the mineral processing space, particularly as plant operators and supervisors, as these operations involve working with the most volumes in the mining space.

Africa Presence

He adds that the company expects a similar uptick in African mining going forward, with Prisma recently gaining a lot of traction in the strategic regions the company operates in including in Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya.

“We believe the outlook for African mining is strong. We benchmark the training solutions we provide in South Africa, and we customise and develop these to make it competency-based in the country where operations are. We ensure we align our learning material and competency levels with the legislation in the country of operations.”

Farmer points out that Prisma’s turnkey solution involves placing trainers at client’s mine sites, to analyse the training capabilities and competencies of the applicable operations.

These trainers conduct these activities to ensure that the mine is not only legally compliant, but also that the mine provides career path development opportunities to employees.

Placing trainers on site also allows for much easier integration of training principles, he adds.

As an example, Farmer points out that Prisma has been providing training solutions for a mine project in Tanzania, with trainers customising the learning material for the client and training permanent employees on-site.

He explains that the holistic training solutions Prisma provides also apply to the type of technology that a mining operation uses, as Prisma partners with technology-driven organisations.

The company does this to help adjust its training interventions to client requirements, and the kind of technology the client uses in their operations.

Farmer states that in Tanzania, Prisma has designed a women-in-mining programme, which involves the company training about 20 women through a community project, helping them become more familiar with, and able to use, an immersive technology simulator that is deployed on site.

“Women who go through this programme get the most out of their practical exposure and simulations before going out into the working environment.”

This is in addition to a project where Prisma is training mining engineers in Oman, in the Middle East, which the company is hoping to use as a springboard into that region.

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