Charles Chambers | Fiji Sun | November 20, 2018
Vatukoula Gold Mines Limited (“VGML”) is looking to recruit 200 more employees to fill the vacant positions for their underground operations.
The mining company is working with Western provincial administrators based in Ba and Rakiraki on a village-based recruitment programme.
The intent of the project is to encourage young men from rural areas of Fiji to take up employment as underground miners at Vatukoula Gold Mines while maintaining their links to their communities.
These links will be maintained by means of:
- A roster which will enable two weeks off every six weeks.
- Transport will be facilitated to the employee’s community and return to Vatukoula on conclusion of their two week community break.
- As part of their application and selection process, each applicant will be encouraged and required to commit to a specific project in their home community e.g. building a residence, a farming venture, communal building project etc.
Young men who meet the criteria for employment will be offered free shared accommodation, inclusive of all services (electricity, water) and the services of a cook but contributing to the cost of their meals out of their wages.
Land for planting of root and vegetable crops will be made available and the opportunity to lower their food purchase costs by supplying from their home villages and being compensated out of their food budget.
VGML will also provide the services of a Community Relations Officer (“CRO”) as a mentor for all participants in the scheme.
The present CRO is the former head teacher of the Vatukoula Primary School, Serupepeli Koroitubuna.
The CRO will liaise with relevant Government agencies to facilitate the employee’s project wherever possible and will also provide guidance in financial literacy and extracurricular activities designed to grow the employee’s life skills.
To date the company has recruited 12 young men from the villages of Balevuto and Toge from rural Ba and Namauimada and Naboutolu in Ra.
The new employees undergo four weeks of surface induction which involves safety, how to handle themselves in different situations and first aid to name a few.
They are then taken underground for a further six months training under strict supervision.
VGML Corporate Services manager Dini Laufenboeck said the feedback had been very encouraging but that the mines would strictly monitor conditions going forward.