Seventy-three employees of AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) graduated in Obuasi at the weekend after successfully undergoing a course at the company’s Engineering Training Centre.
The training programme is in line with the values of AngloGold which aim at ensuring that communities where it operates benefit from its presence, and that more youths in those communities continue to benefit from the company’s training and development schemes.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony on behalf of the Managing Director of the Obuasi mine, Mr Kwaku Awuku, the Senior Manager in charge of Human Resources said training and development was a priority for AGA to ensure that it had the right people with the right skills and knowledge in the right roles to execute work safely and effectively.
“AngloGold Ashanti’s partnership with the people in the communities and the Ghanaian society in general has contributed significantly to capacity building in junior, middle and senior management at the company’s operational centres in Ghana, Guinea and Mali”, Mr Awuku said.
He added that the company’s vision was to be the leading mining company and that it would need qualified and experienced people to enable it to achieve its objectives and become the preferred brand.
He said AGA had been training people from both the local communities and its employees annually ever since, and that the company had also been offering the apprenticeship programmes since 2004 at its two operational centres in Ghana, at its own cost.
“Driven by the need to address the skill deficiency level in Obuasi’s Engineering department, the centre was set up in 1987 to provide on-the-job training for the workers. It currently has well equipped laboratories, workshops as well as welding and fabrication shops.”
He explained that the apprenticeships were offered to new graduates from the technical, polytechnics and the universities, mostly from the mine’s communities. Courses offered include mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, mobile equipment welding and fabrication.
Mr Samuel Opare Baidoo, Head of the Training centre said it was accredited by the UK’s City and Guilds, and offered apprentice training, senior technician training, supervisors’ training and graduate engineering training programmes not only for AngloGold Ashanti employees but also staff from many other companies including West Africa Gas Pipeline, Golden Star Resources, Ghacem, Liber Monrovia Brewery of Liberia, Hess of Equatorial Guinea, and Accra Brewery.
He said the centre which was being funded by AngloGold Ashanti, trained 7,564 workers in 2013, compared with 5,556 in 2012, 7353 in 2011 and 3053 in 2010.
“That AngloGold Ashanti takes a fair credit of the training and development of engineers in the country cannot be doubted. It has trained and continues to train thousands of Ghanaians from all spheres of life. It is also a fact that products of the centre are working all over the country, serving in both private and public sectors of the economy”, Mr Baidoo stated.
Mr Hussein Abugri, Senior Manager in charge of Administration, urged the new graduates to make a difference wherever they found themselves by using their skills innovatively and also to share and extend their experience with the people in the communities who were yet to get the opportunity to enrol at the centre.
“You are graduating at the time that the company is undergoing serious transformation but you are lucky to have skills and experience which will take you to any place you want to work, provided you are hardworking”, he said.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, one of the new graduates, Mr Ofoso Twineboah commended AngloGold Ashanti for the scholarship and practical training offered to them free of charge.
He prayed for the continued success of the Obuasi mine, which he said was essential to the economic development of the Obuasi community, the region and the country as a whole. GNA