Training Local Deminers
The building of national capacity is core to HALO’s ethos.
HALO aims to deploy as many local deminers as the funding will allow and central to this is the reduction in the number of expensive international staff, and their replacement at the earliest opportunity with competent and responsible national staff. This approach allows HALO to operate at a ratio of in excess of 100 national staff to one expatriate – a far higher ratio than has been achieved by any other demining operator whether humanitarian or commercial. As an equal opportunities employer, HALO has men and women at all levels of the organization from deminers to senior managers.
HALO has a policy of recruiting deminers from within the mined communities. This has many added benefits in that it raises awareness within the community, provides a regular and legitimate source of income for household heads and minimizes the costs of transporting, housing and feeding deminers. Standard training courses are delivered in the national language to allow staff to maximise their capability. HALO’s basic demining course, which typically runs for three weeks, involves no written work and thus those who have missed out on an education can still successfully complete the course and support their families.
HALO has a chance to observe staff as deminers and this allows time to select and vet the best candidates for promotion. In order for staff to progress and take on additional responsibilities HALO runs further formal and tailored training courses aimed at developing the candidates’ understanding of operational practices and managerial responsibility.
All newly joined international staff receive a six month training package. The first three months cover standard serials while the second three months are tailored to suit an individual’s previous experience and capabilities/ weaknesses.