Joseph Buenaflor, a Komatsu Trainee, reports on the program & benefits for him and his fellow trainees.

Joseph-at-Mackay-b-(1).jpgFilipino engineering trainee Joseph Buenaflor is currently on secondment in Australia, one of nine trainees currently working at Komatsu Australia facilities around the country to gain valuable experience and skills in working on heavy equipment.

In 2008, Komatsu Ltd established its Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC) in the Philippines, a training centre established to recruit and develop talented young Filipino mechanical engineers to strengthen the company's global product support operations and capabilities.

Under this program, Komatsu's Filipino trainees undergo a three-stage comprehensive training program to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills.

The program starts with an initial six months' training in the Philippines, where we were taught machine basics, followed by six months on-the-job training with Komatsu's local distributor in the Philippines.

We then went to Japan for a one-month program, covering training in mining support operations, KOMTRAX data download and analysis, R+M Care and EQP Care, as well as Komatsu Germany and Komatsu America-sourced mining products.

For me, the real highlight of this trip was the chance to meet Komatsu Ltd President Kunio Noji, as well as Hidetaka Kita, Product Support Division President, and other key officers of the company. It was a memorable experience that will last me a lifetime.

Following these experiences, trainees then go to various Komatsu subsidiaries and distributors worldwide for three years for the final stage of our training. These include America, Australia, Botswana, Chile, China, India, Japan, Laos, Qatar, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam, Senegal and the Philippines.

This year, Komatsu Australia, through Paul Richardson and Jason Alfeo, welcomed its third group of Filipino trainees: Neil Generoso, Ralph Goad, Arcel Miclat, Teddy Rosario and myself. We are working across various departments, including REMAN, components, engineering design, and product support and contracts.

Recently I have been working with the Mackay branch parts department as a customer support representative, learning our parts ordering and numbering system as well as handling parts issues and dealing with customers.

Komatsu Australia staff have provided us all with overwhelming support and encouragement, which I am sure will contribute to the long-term benefit of Komatsu globally.

Being part of such a team is not just an opportunity but also a privilege which I and my fellow trainee engineers gratefully cherish.