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Coal & Allied has taken on its largest apprentice intake to date, employing 16 new workers in the Upper Hunter Valley.
The electrical fitting and plant mechanic apprentices were selected from local training employer NovaSkill.
In a statement Coal & Allied said it had employed 142 apprentices since 2002 and it would soon start recruitment for its 2013 apprentice intake.
The apprentices are currently taking a six month study period at the Muswellbrook Mining Skills Centre before starting practical work.
In a company statement apprentice Michael Reibel said the training was providing practical work skills as well as education in financial management and other life skills.
"For the past three years I’ve wanted to get a mechanical trade so I finally decided to make the move and discharge from the army to pursue my goal," he said.
"I also felt fortunate to be selected for the apprenticeship given I am a bit older than the other apprentices."