A vocational training organization has recognized Barrick as a major supporter in the drive to expand on-the-job training opportunities in the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea.
The Laigam Appropriate Technology Centre (LATC) presented an award to Barrick at the school’s ninth graduation ceremony, held in late 2013. Barrick provides on-the-job training to LATC students at the Porgera mine through the company’s Operations Education Sponsorship program. Since 2007, the company has provided placements for a total of 71 students from the LATC, now one of the Porgera district’s most thriving vocational technical institutions.
The organization’s connection to Barrick dates back to 2004 when a former Porgera mine manager donated four second-hand computers to the LATC, whose inaugural class had just five students.
LATC principal Ronaldo Diaz commended Barrick and several other companies for providing on-the-job training for LATC students over the years. “An on-the-job training program is useless without the assistance of companies such as Barrick,” Diaz says.
Since the institution was founded in 2004, 375 students have graduated from the LATC, and 267 are now employed in various locations throughout the country, according to Diaz.
Barrick is the region’s primary economic engine, having invested more than $125 million in employee wages and benefits, while contributing another $233 million to the purchase of local goods and services in 2012 alone.
Located approximately three hours away from the Porgera mine, the LATC has been building its students’ capacity and knowledge to become productive members of society. In 2013, 81 students graduated from the program, with 43 of them securing permanent employment. Eight undertook three months of industrial training at the Porgera mine. Today, 24 former LATC students are employed by Barrick and work in various departments at the mine, such as finance, maintenance, health and safety, operations and community relations.