During a press luncheon at Expomin in Santiago, Chile, Sandvik announced it would open two new offices in Chile. One in Rancagua near Codelco’s El Teniente mine and the other in Calama, which will be joining the existing offices located in Copiapó, Antofagasta, and the head office and factory in Santiago.

Challenges related to personnel in the mining sector are well-documented and Sandvik is combining two approaches to meet future needs, explained Sebastian Dibarrat, sales vice president Chile, Sandvik Mining Americas. “We will continue the Apprenticeship Program, which has been very successful, with 37 apprentices who have achieved their degrees from industrial high-schools in 2011 [sponsored by Sandvik],” Dibarrat said. “For 2012, we expect to have 16 more graduates. That will help us to face the challenges of the labor market in a first stage.”

Another innovative idea was designed and proposed by Codelco El Teniente, Dibarrat explained. “When the students from industrial high-schools graduate, they don’t necessarily understand what ‘mining’ is,” Dibarrat said. “What Codelco proposes, with the solidary sponsorship of Sandvik, is to implement mining specific subjects during the last two years of high-school for two industrial high schools of Rancagua, so when these young people leave the high school, they will be able to follow a career in some technical college with an idea on how to operate, repair and maintain a mining equipment. We have already signed an agreement with Codelco and a local high-school from Rancagua to have 40 students—17 of which are women—taking mining subjects during their last two years of school.”