Oyu Tolgoi Partnership
Southern Gobi Desert and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Holmesglen has been delivering Australian accredited qualifications and skill sets to its Mongolian partner Rio Tinto at the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) mine since 2013. The mine is Mongolia's largest copper and gold mining company and is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia, Turquoise Hill Resources and Rio Tinto. Holmesglen is the only Australian TAFE institute to operate in Mongolia.
Holmesglen was contracted to assist OT to set up a system of training in Mongolia to develop and upgrade the training curricula and assessment principles in line with the Australian Qualification Training Framework (AQTF).
The Holmesglen/OT partnership is a capacity building program focused on the upskilling of the Mongolian workforce. After seven years, over 1,000 trades and technical mine workers have undertaken training in Australian qualifications with Holmesglen.
Working directly with OT, the two main goals remain to:
- broaden the skill base of Mongolian trades workers, who would potentially work in the copper mine; and;
- upskill local trainers to deliver apprenticeship programs in Mongolia to AQF standards.
The services are provided at OT’s copper mine in the Southern Gobi Desert as well as in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia with support provided remotely from Australia.
This partnership has facilitated the set-up of a Trades Training Centre at the mine site for OT employees.
A number of phases of the partnership have been completed or are in progress. These are outlined below.
Phase 1 – System set-up and gap analysis
This involved a review of OT's existing training facilities and resources and a “gap analysis” for existing instructional staff, trades persons and apprentices. A training system was set up, based on results from the gap analysis, establishing competency status for personnel and customising training plans for implementation by OT's instructional staff.
Holmesglen ran a recognition of prior learning (RPL) process for OT's instructional and maintenance staff and awarded qualifications or a statement of attainment based on evaluation of each candidate.
Holmesglen developed a sustainable Apprenticeship Training Framework system that included an individual training plan and e-learning system for the delivery and assessment of two training packages –
- Engineering (MEM05), and,
- Electrotechnology (UEE11).
As part of this phase, Holmesglen enrolled trainees and developed training curricula and support materials ready for translation into Mongolian by an in-country training partner.
Phase 2 – Roll out
This involved the commencement of training of the existing workforce and new apprentices, and face-to-face coaching for instructional staff. Quality and compliance continued to be monitored.
Phase 3 – Upskilling
Upskilling is a new training product specifically created by OT and Holmesglen to cover Engineering and Electrotechnology areas. Holmesglen conceived Upskilling to assess, upgrade and refresh skills and knowledge of the students, (experienced mining workers), in accordance with the demands of the mining industry in Mongolia and compliance with Australian standards.
Phase 4 – Subutai Mining Service
Subutai Mining Service (SMS) is a provider of mining services, including the coordination of pre-apprenticeship training on behalf of OT. They manage pre-apprenticeship schools in the cities of Dalanzadgad and Khanbogd and have contracted Holmesglen to deliver courses which provide Certificate II qualifications in Engineering and Electrotechnology.
Phase 5 – Underground project
As the mine transitions from an open cut to an underground mine, new expertise is needed. These include educational services for underground maintenance crews and the requirement for high voltage training.
Phase 5 and high voltage training are a good fit for Holmesglen with the transition of the acquisition of our new Drummond St campus in Chadstone which includes the new $16 million Victorian Tunnelling Training Centre, where local workers will be trained in underground construction and tunnelling. The new facility includes a replica mined tunnel and rail tunnel with a full-height entrance, three multi-purpose engineering workrooms and training facilities including tunnel shaft and concrete lining spray simulators, as well as virtual reality experiences.