In a Co-operative the workers own and operate the business. We are committed to employing local people and have set ourselves the target of at least 50% of the workers in the mine being from the local area.

The mine will end up employing around 50 full time staff. These will be well paid, technically skilled jobs and we expect competition for them will be fierce.

A good attitude and the desire to become a productive member of the co-operative is just as important as any previous work experience.

If all goes well, we expect to begin recruiting staff in early 2016.

If you are interested in the idea of joining the co-operative please send a CV and covering letter to the Mine Manager, Alan Bilton, alan.bilton_newcroftoncoopcolliery.co.uk (replace the _ with an @).

There are some more details on how the Co-op works below the break:

  • The mine will operate two shifts, 10am to 2pm and 2pm to 10pm, five days a week with some Saturday surface working.

  • We expect to produce around 200,000 tonnes of coal per annum with 85% or more going to power stations and to be on site for 22 years, extracting 4.9 million tonnes in total before closing down and restoring the site.

  • There will then be subsequent recruitment rounds as we move into production, with more opportunities for people new to the mining industry to get involved and get trained up.

  • In the medium term we want to move towards the majority of the workforce being from the local area (Wintersett, Crofton, Ryhill, Havercroft & Nostell).

  • The mine is a worker co-operative. This means that the workforce will be the members of the co-op and will own it.

  • On a day to day basis the Co-op will operate like any other mine as we have to ensure that things are run properly, efficiently and safely, but unlike a non co-op business the members will ultimately control the mine by virtue of being able to hire and fire the directors (who run the mine on a day to day basis).

  • Workers will be employed and then the decision as to whether they become full members will be made six to twelve months later by the existing members. At that point those who are offered membership will be required to invest £10,000 into the Co-operative, but this wouldn’t have to be up front. Those who aren’t offered full membership would leave the employ of the mine at that point.

  • Members will receive a share of the profits and control the Co-operative. 49% of the profits will be set aside for this purpose and the other 51% of the profits will be placed into an investment fund which will invest in developing co-operative enterprises in the local area.

  • All members will have to undertake around 5 days of philanthropic work each year. In practise this will include attending and participating in meetings of the Co-op, open days and helping local community projects. This is a key part of our commitment to being part of the local community.

  • The mine currently has ten founder members who have veto rights over co-op decisions. This is to ensure that the co-op conforms to the vision which we started with as it goes forward. We have now been working on this project for around 4 years and have, between us, invested around £500,000 into it.

  • We’re looking for two main things in potential members:

    • A desire to work in a Co-operative enterprise which intends to put a lot back into the local community (critical)

    • Excellent technical skills (less critical as we can always train people up)