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Mining training a first for Fiji

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, August 01, 2014

NILSEN College of Vatukoula will offer mining qualifications to cater for the increase in the demand for licensed miners.

Fiji Higher Education Commission Professional Services Unit team leader Eci Naisele said the commission had just given the green light for Nilsen College to develop the program.

"With the consent of the ministry (of Education) and after meeting the staff and management of Nilsen College, we went to Vatukoula Gold Mines and they agreed to support the institute and the whole program," Mr Naisele said.

"They (Vatukoula Gold Mines) told us that for 80 years, the miners that were working with them had no training at all.

"Most of the workers came straight from the village and they trained them on site. They did not have any paperwork in the field."

He said the new program would provide proper accreditation for miners. "At the end of the day, they can get a certificate.

"That's for the new students that enrol for the course. For those who are already working as a miner, we offer them a package called Recognition of Prior Learning. What that means is that we'll get the assessors or the lecturers in this particular field to go to the mines and assess them while they are working.

"These people that have been working for years but they want to move on to other lucrative mines in other countries.

"With this qualification, they can apply for work in places like South Africa where the mining industry there is booming."

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