Last updated on: 2024-03-20



New job opportunities for ZEPAK Group employees leaving the mining industry

The mining companies comprising the ZE PAK Group, i.e., Kopalnia Wegla Brunatnego Konin and PAK Górnictwo, have signed a cooperation agreement with a renowned provider of career counselling and outplacement services – Jobs First. The objective of the agreement is to support the employees of ZEPAK Group mining companies, who will conclude their work due to the completion of extraction from the Drzewce and Jóźwin open pits, in finding new employment.

Last year, ZE PAK announced the directions of its transformation strategy, which provides for a complete abandonment of lignite mining by 2030 and the shut-down of power plants using this raw material to produce electricity and heat. This makes Eastern Greater Poland the most advanced coal region in Poland in terms of the pace of energy transition. Regardless of the date of departure from lignite that was set for 2030, the resources of this raw material available in the ZE PAK CG open pits are being depleted as a result of the exploitation of deposits. In 2022, the coal resources in the Jóźwin and Drzewce open pits will be exhausted. The last open pit exploited by the Konin mine will be the Tomisławice deposit.

Initiative of the ZE PAK authorities

As of September 30 this year, the mining companies of the ZE PAK Group employed 1,900 people. The employees of the ZE PAK Capital Group still do not have guaranteed access to funds from the EU Just Transition Fund, which is to be a financing tool for the energy transformation of Polish mining regions that is inevitable in the context of the EU climate and energy policy. Therefore, the ZE PAK Group authorities – ahead of the inevitable employment restructuring in mining companies – decided to launch and finance from ZE PAK’s own funds a pilot program to support the ZE PAK Group employees in finding new employment (outplacement). During the pilot phase, this program will cover up to 100 employees of mining companies of the ZE PAK Group.

Assistance for departing employees in the possibilities of changing employment

The partner of ZE PAK CG in this pilot project was Jobs First – a reputable and well-proven provider of services supporting employees in transferring them to new employment. Jobs First is distinguished owing to its method of operation that is unique on the market; aimed primarily at achieving the goal of leading departing employees to take up a new job while the program is still in progress. The company has implemented programs to restore employment for over 5,000 people throughout Poland. It conducts its activities both at the commission of the public sector, helping long-term unemployed people to return to the labour market, as well as on behalf of private employers of various industries restructuring their employment processes. It has achieved high, proven, and documented effectiveness in all these programs.

“We have managed to launch this pilot support program for our employees, and I will take every effort to finalize it successfully. The procrastinating dates of aiding the ZE PAK Capital Group employees with funds from the EU Just Transition Fund mean that we cannot wait any longer and we must implement and finance activities supporting our people from our own resources” – said Piotr Woźny, President of the Management Board of the Konin Brown Coal Mine.

“It is a vital and, without a doubt, difficult task for us, but we will take advantage of all our experience gained so far to help departing ZE PAK employees take up a new job. It is an unprecedented initiative in terms of changes in the mining and power sectors; still unique on the market among employers” – says Anna Karaszewska, President of the Board at Jobs First.

Another initiative supporting employees leaving the coal-related sector

The commencement of the project supporting the employees of the ZE PAK Group in paving their way to new employment is another initiative undertaken by ZE PAK aimed at retraining the employees of the mining and energy concern and assisting them in finding new employment. Last year, at the Konin Power Plant, the RES Training Centre was activated, in which over 70 employees of the ZE PAK Group underwent training courses and obtained the qualifications of a photovoltaic system fitter. Some of these people were employed in the ESOLEO company, which is part of the Cyfrowy Polsat Group, and participated in the works related to the construction of a 70 MW photovoltaic farm in Brudzewo carried out on the reclaimed post-mining areas of the closed Adamów Brown Coal Mine. ZE PAK has also concluded agreements with the municipalities of Kazimierz Biskupi and Rychwał, which provide for the financing by ZE PAK of activities connected with the creation of jobs for former employees of the ZE PAK Group in the organizational units of these communes.