BHP has welcomed 250 apprentices and trainees to its academy, with the aim of developing Australia’s worker skills and new career pathways in the mining sector.
The BHP FutureFit Academy combines trade apprenticeship studies with maintenance traineeships.
It also offers trade apprenticeships for heavy diesel fitters and mechanical fitters, along with a one-year Certificate II maintenance traineeship.
The academy will conduct the training program alongside CQ University and North Metropolitan TAFE in Perth.
Existing BHP warehouse and repair facilities in Mackay, Queensland and Welshpool, Western Australia will be the first two campuses under the program.
With the welcoming of the new trainees, BHP has set sights on the next generation of mining workers, according to BHP acting president operations minerals Australia Edgar Basto.
“We are investing in the workforce of the future, and creating new employment opportunities in the communities where we operate,” he said.
“This new program will help develop Australia’s next generation of tradespeople and support local jobs.
“We are proud to welcome our new group of apprentices and trainees, who will develop the skills necessary to harness advances in technology, automation and maintenance, and help to address Australia’s trade skills shortage.”
As business demand increases, BHP expects more apprenticeships to be added.
Social distancing measurements and other COVID-19 requires are also being managed at each facility undertaking the training program.
“The BHP FutureFit Academy forges new ground, offering a tailored learning experience in purpose-built campuses that will ensure our graduates are skilled, competent and job-ready,” BHP vice president operations services Mark Swinnerton said.
“We are bringing the learning to the learner through real-life workshops and virtual reality simulation technology to provide robust, supported and intensive training in a safe, controlled and inclusive environment.
“The new approach to training and employment opens the door to a more diverse talent pool, especially those from non-mining backgrounds who want to reskill or pursue a new career.”