The revival of mining industry and the orientation towards professional education are yielding the first fruits in Albania. 35 high school graduates of Bulqizë Geology-Mining high school are the first generation of all time graduating in their profile in the famous chrome ore city. After four years of studying, graduates have managed to end up their studies as mining technicians. Up to four years ago, in Bulqizë, no one had taken care of setting up such a professional school directly related to training and employment, just after completing the high school.
But now in the establishment of Bulqiza’s high school, a great contribution has been made by the Albanian company AlbChrome, which has taken care of supplying the institution with material basis, as well as setting up a laboratory for practice, or by covering the payment of some professors.
Some of the graduated students will continue their studies at the University of Mining Geology in Tirana, while the rest will conduct a few months practice at the Bulqiza mine and after the relevant tests, a good part of them will be hired immediately. One of the mining profiles where young people are expected to engage is that of the amateur wagoner, to then move to the position of the mining technician, which is also a leading position in the underground.
New jobs and high salaries
Also in the chromium concession in Bulqizë 11 electricians of different ages were recently trained by AlbChrome, who besides being also certified with diplomas from the Professional Training of Bulqiza, have also been equipped with special licenses to practice the electrification profession in the mine by the company specializing in this field, TCPE, and since June have started work and are involved in the company’s payroll. What adds value to such employment is the fact that AlbChrome has an average salary of 80,000 ALL a month, which makes it a sustainable employment and a serious professional perspective for the future, whereby job promotion and qualifications are anticipated different, depending on the experience.
During the ceremony of graduating and signing students’ internships with AlbChrome and issuing certificates for trained electricians, representative of the Ministry of Economy and Finance Luljeta Dauti, the mayor of Bulqiza Melaim Damzi, Prefect of Dibër District Nexhmedin Shehu, director of Bulqiza High School Fllanxa Beça, Director of Professional Education Dibër Alma Selami, Director of Educational Office Bulqizë Kujtim Kërkuti, representatives of AlbChrome, etc were present.
University schoolarships for the best graduates
AlbChrome, following the tradition of paying attention to youth employment and social issues, has pledged that the first student to be enrolled at the University of Mining Geology in Tirana will be covered by a scholarship from the company itself. This initiative will continue with other graduates who will graduate in the coming years and who will attend university studies in their field of specialization. In addition of this year’s graduations, every year in the professional school in Bulqizë 25 to 30 young students are registered from who have decided to have a safe employment future in the revitalized mine thanks to numerous investments by Albchrome under the security conditions and technical equipment. Only in 2015-2018, in Bulqiza, investments made by Albchrome amounted to $ 37.7 million, which had never happened since 1991 until 2012, which marks the time when this concession was entrusted to the Albanian company, not like foreign companies who had used the “bite and run” tactic, degrading the mine and the socio-economic prospects of the area. The professional school in Bulqiza in 2014 did not exist, but taking into account the needs of the secondary technician’s mine and the government’s strategy to invest in professional education, it was decided to support the opening of the Mining Geology branch in Bulqiza by the Albanian company chromium
Employement and support also in the professional High School of Elbasan
Also starting this year, Albchrome in collaboration with the Ali Muftiu Professional School in Elbasan will reopen the metallurgy-foundry branch and will provide students of this school safe practice in the premises of the iron plant chromium in Elbasan, life and health insurance, and employment opportunities after studying completion.
The Elbasan ferro-chrome plant, also administered by Albchrome, has a direct connection to the chromium concession in Bulqiza, since the mineral goes to the Elbasan plant where it melts to then be turned into liquid state.
Albchrome currently employs 1176 people.
Starting from January to May, 122 new employees were hired, while by the end of 2018 40 more are expected to be hired.
This is an extraordinary progress given that in 2012, when the concession was granted to AlbChrome, were there only 600 employees in the Bulqiza mine who had several months on strike and unpaid overpayments.
AlbChrome is part of the Balfin Group, the largest and most innovative investment group in Albania and one of the largest in the region, known for its investment in TEG, QTU, SEG, residential and commercial development, tourism projects such as the Green Coast Resort and Vala Mar Residences, fashion and mining industries, as well as retail activities with the Neptun, SPAR, Jumbo, etc.