New centre for Otraco.
A leading off-the-road tyre management consulting and services company, Otraco International, opened its new tyre training centre in Perth.
The training centre, which comprises a 2,000cu m tyre pad and 1,500 cu m of training rooms, offices, workshop and hard stand, will train tyre fitters for Otraco’s operations on minesites throughout Australia.
Otraco’s decision to establish the centre was based primarily on two key factors: safety considerations and the nationwide shortage of qualified OTR tyre fitters.
“A key component of the training offered by Otraco is that it involves simulating the mine environment, and trainees are able to work on real mining equipment just 30 minutes from Perth’s CBD,” Otraco general manager Alistair Swanson said.
“One of the most important advantages of this approach is that it enables the trainees to undergo their training in a very safe, controlled environment. It also enables them to decide whether they like the life, as training and trainees will be required to work a full mine roster, work nights, undergo mock client audits and even eat in a crib room.
“After completing the six-week course at the centre, the trainees continue their training on minesites. Previously trainees would have received all their training on site; now they start their job equipped with key skills, and the role of a trainer on site becomes more that of a mentor,” Mr Swanson said.
Thanks to the generous support of the mining industry and local businesses, the centre is equipped with both open-cut and underground mining equipment, including a Caterpillar 789B haul truck donated by BHP Billiton, and an Elphinstone R2900 bogger (underground loader) and tyre handler from Downer Mining.
BHP Billiton Iron Ore head of community and indigenous affairs, Richard O’Connell, said the company actively supports training initiatives that provide real-life and practical training experiences.
“At BHP Billiton we understand the importance of skill development to meet the needs of our growing Western Australian community. Equally, we are committed to reinforcing a culture of safety and best practice.” Mr O’Connell said.
“We are proud to be supporting our safety commitment and our community by contributing to this state-of-the-art facility through the donation of a Caterpillar 789B haul truck.”
Initially the centre will be offering courses on an as-required basis to meet Otraco’s need for tyre fitters. Each intake will comprise six to eight trainees, who will ultimately graduate with a Certificate II in Automotive Mechanical – Tyre Fitting Heavy (which has been customised to incorporate OTR).
In addition to supplying trained tyre fitters to the mines, the training centre will be offering commercial courses to mining equipment companies and local tyre suppliers.
Caption: Training hub: (L-R) Otraco training manager Tony Crilly, BHP Billiton’s Richard O’Connell, Otraco general manager Alistair Swanson and Downer Mining CEO David Overall at the launch of the tyre training centre.
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