The young men, all aged between 21 and 31, are undertaking a month-long induction before beginning their careers underground, where they will start as general labour before progressing to site-specific roles once their training is complete.
One of the lucky few, Daniel Welka, 26, said: “Joining UK Coal is a fantastic opportunity for me and something I have dreamt about since I was young. I can’t wait to get started.”
Mine manager, Shaun McLoughlin, said: “This is the first time in four years that Kellingley Colliery has taken on green labour and I am thrilled to have the new recruits on board. Our average age on site is 50, so this group of youngsters will help us redress the balance and rejuvenate the workforce. It has been a tough year for UK Coal, but this investment proves that we are still growing and continuing to provide a vital service to our customers.”
Chief operating officer, Derek Parkin, added: “I am delighted to welcome these nine apprentices to UK Coal, it is excellent that we have the opportunity to invest in new blood and I can’t wait to see them in action.”
Kellingley Colliery is the last remaining deep coal mine in Yorkshire and has been producing coal since 1965 with the potential to continue doing so until the 2030s.