Media Release

Stockton's traineeship programme proving a success

28 March 2012

Stockton Alliance's traineeship operator programme is proving to be a success, with more than 45 local people "graduating" into full time work at Stockton Mine.

Started in June 2011 to give West Coasters with no mining experience the opportunity to work in the industry, the programme provides full on-site operator training for 100-tonne trucks. Following a varied schedule, the trainees work in mobile plant workshops and complete truck simulator training before progressing into the field with operator training on Caterpillar 777 dump trucks.

So far, 56 men and women have been taken into the traineeship and 45 have received permanent job offers as truck operators. Of those, 24 have also completed a National Certificate in Extractive Industries (Introductory Skills) through EXITO. Some trainees have moved into other areas and others have advanced onto different mining equipment. A further 21 West Coasters have been interviewed and are waiting to start their training.

"Stockton Alliance started this programme to build capability for Stockton Mine and provide a way into the industry for local people. The programme also has the added benefit of producing well-trained operators for the industry and the mine is reaping the benefits of a safety-focused workforce," says Stephen Esposito, Solid Energy's General Manager Opencast Operations. "It's really pleasing to see the number of people applying to get into the traineeships."

While there is a waiting list, Stockton Alliance is taking expressions of interest for the programme. Applicants will need a full driver's licence. Please visit the Solid Energy Careers website to apply.

Stockton Opencast Mine is owned by Solid Energy and operated by Stockton Alliance, a partnership between Solid Energy and Downer EDI Mining. Stockton is Solid Energy's most valuable operational coal mining asset, delivering high-quality steelmaking coal for export. Directly employing approximately 1000 people through Stockton Alliance and contractors, the mine has sufficient economically recoverable resources to continue producing for at least another 20 years. Stockton's output underpins KiwiRail's Midland Line and contributes to the business of Lyttelton Port of Christchurch.


Stockton Alliance training administrator Kirsty Thatcher tries her skills on Stockton's mobile plant simulator.

Stockton Alliance training administrator Kirsty Thatcher tries her skills on Stockton's mobile plant simulator. The high-tech training machine provides a realistic approximation of the "view" and feel of real equipment, and in this case it is simulating one of the mine's large diggers. At left is training assessor Nathan Rakena.