BHP donates 53m of rail track to boost training focus

BHP has donated 53 metres of rail track to a Western Australian school in the Pilbara to help provide its students with real life skills and training in rail installation.

The donation, which follows BHP’s commitment to more than double its intake of apprenticeships and traineeships at its WA iron ore operations in 2018, means Hedland Senior High School is the only school in the country to have a rail installation of this size.

BHP WA Iron Ore asset president Edgar Basto said the $280,000 donation meant students would graduate with important job-ready skills, helping to create a pipeline of talent in the Pilbara region.

“We are proud to support young people in their education here in the Pilbara. This donation provides a fantastic opportunity for students to gain critical hands on experience, giving them important skills to allow them to follow a career pathway into the rail sector,” Basto said.

“This unique rail installation is the largest at any school in the country and we are delighted to have worked with Hedland Senior High to have made it happen.”

BHP employs about 300 apprentices and trainees at its WA iron ore operations, with most positions based in the Pilbara. It plans to increase its intake to 200 positions in 2018, with 15 of those for rail apprentices and trainees.

Hedland Senior High School Principal Kelly Summers said the school was excited to receive this generous donation and for the opportunities that it provides the students.

“The rail and infrastructure program highlights the level of innovation possible when schools and industry work together to address gaps in the local skills market. Being able to position students for successful careers across various sectors of the mining industry is really important for the growth of our region and our school,” Summers said.

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