Barminco’s leading training practices recognised at Australia awards ceremony

Last night Perenti company Barminco was named Australia’s Large Employer of the Year at the National Australian Training Awards in Brisbane.

This award, which recognises a company focused on upskilling employees, follows a win for the same category at the WA Awards in September.

Barminco Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, said: “Our vision is to be the world’s leading hard-rock underground mining service provider, and our people are at the core of that vision.

“We are aiming to significantly increase the size of our business in the next five years in what is a highly competitive labour market and our focus is firmly on training and our integrated people strategy.

“It is wonderful to be recognised nationally for our work in this area.”

Barminco was established in Coolgardie, Western Australia, 30 years ago with 30 employees. Today it has 3,900 employees across 22 projects in eight countries and four continents.

Key elements of Barminco’s training strategy are the Barminco Training Centres, the first of which has just opened in its Hazelmere head office, in Western Australia, and a second facility being replicated on a larger scale in Botswana, due to open shortly.

Barminco General Manager, Safety and People, Patrick Bourke, said: “These unique facilities replicate what it is like to be underground. There is a focus on operational skills and they utilise technology to offer customised virtual reality scenarios for all the different underground jobs.”

“This is a game-changer for us as it ensures new employees go to site with a much better understanding of the underground environment so they are safer and can operate more efficiently.

“Barminco’s focus on training people extends to several other programs, including its successful apprenticeship program that has been running for more than 20 years and its unique leadership program designed to provide career progression for employees, a key retention tool to develop and progress staff into management roles.”

Bourke said Barminco’s rapid growth was down to the people the company employed and, therefore, investment in their training was essential.

“We are extremely proud of our innovative training programs and it has made an enormous difference to our business,” he said.

Barminco was one of three named finalists for the 2019 Australian Training Award – Large Employer of the Year.