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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Five new recruits at Bradley surface mine

Banks Mining new recruits

Local lads secure permanent jobs at Bradley after completing apprenticeships with Banks Mining

FIVE local lads have won full-time roles with Banks Mining after completing plant operator apprenticeships at the company’s Bradley surface mine.

Graeme Buckley, Liam Smith, Graeme Stott, Tommy Mayman and Damon Henderson have all successfully undertaken 12-month training programmes at the site in Co. Durham and have now taken on permanent plant operator roles there.

The new recruits, who all live in and around Consett, are now qualified to operator a range of industrial machinery, including rigid and articulated dumptrucks, fuel and water bowsers, and 360-degree excavators.

During their apprenticeships, they received direct training and mentoring from experienced members of the Banks Mining team and worked across a number of different roles to develop a range of skills and experience.

As part of his new role, Graeme Stott, who served in the RAF and also worked in mental health nursing before joining Banks Mining, has taken on the additional responsibility of being site safety representative for Bradley.

Twenty-five jobs are now being directly supported at Bradley, alongside others in the local supply chain. A total of eight apprentices have completed their training at Bradley over the past two years, with a further seven currently training at other sites.

Jamie Drysdale, manager at Bradley surface mine, said: ‘Providing employment and training opportunities for local people was always a core part of the development of the Bradley project, and is an essential undertaking for both long-standing North East businesses like ourselves and for the sustainable success of the wider regional economy.

‘The five lads have all done extremely well during their apprenticeships and thoroughly deserve to be full members of our highly skilled Bradley team.’

Banks Mining are currently waiting on a planning decision from Durham County Council on a small extension to their surface mining operations on land to the west of the Bradley site, which would entail extracting around 90,000 tonnes of high-quality coal for supply to UK industrial customers and 20,000 tonnes of fireclay for use by regional brickmakers.

Banks Mining’s managing director, Gavin Styles, said: ‘The Bradley mine is part of the supply chain to the steel manufacturing industry classed as essential by the Government, and we have been working closely with our customers to ensure that we continue to supply them with the coal that they need to make raw steel during these unprecedented times.

‘Given the extraordinary public health and economic challenges facing both the North East and the wider country, both now and in the future, it makes greater sense than ever to meet UK industry’s continuing need for essential minerals such as coal and fireclay from UK resources, rather than continuing to increase our reliance on overseas supplies which release greater greenhouse gas emissions through their mining and transportation.

‘Doing so also supports skilled northern jobs and supply chains, delivers regional environmental and conservation enhancements, and boosts the UK’s balance of payments.

‘Our five new recruits are the latest of many that we’ve been able to add to our highly skilled workforce from the communities around the Bradley site and we are committed to continuing to provide people in the North East with the chance to build long-term careers and support their families through our mining operations.’

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