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Plans to create world-leading skilled workforce within the region
PLANS are underway to create a world-leading local workforce of engineers, geologists and other skilled professionals to work on a major mining project.
Earlier this month, plans were submitted to extract potash from a mine near Sneaton, Whitby, in the North York Moors National Park.
There were concerns many of the skilled jobs would be sourced from outside the region, or that much of the processing work would be carried out abroad.
But the company behind the £1.5bn project, York Potash, estimates about 1,000 highly skilled jobs will be created by the project and is confident most will be filled within North Yorkshire and Teesside.
It also estimates there will be between 2,500 and 4,500 indirect jobs created.
The mine will access the world’s biggest deposit of polyhalite, to meet an increasing global demand for fertiliser.
A decision on the project will be made by the North York Moors National Park Authority before June this year.
York Potash is also expected to submit plans for a processing plant in the Teesside area - which would be linked to the mine by an underground pipeline - over the next couple of months. Specially built port facilities would also be created.
Gareth Edmunds, of York Potash, said the company has appointed an education and skills manager, who is already in talks with schools and colleges to fill about 25 apprenticeships and dozens of jobs.
It is also running a scheme to support five graduates through university.
The project hopes to attract people from the region experienced in working in industries such as off-shore gas.
“We need some already experienced mining workers, but similarly we’ll be training up local people.
“On the drilling rigs we have quite a few people who have already worked off-short on drilling rigs. We’re looking to create a volume of skilled workers, which hopefully other businesses will benefit from.
“Round here there’s a huge tradition of the population working in off-shore gas and Cleveland Potash mine. Locally there are the skills - historically this was a huge mining area for ironstone, jet, potash – there will be plenty of people with the ability to pick it up quickly.”
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