BHP has allocated six-month contracts to around 1100 of the 1500 people that were targeted for recruitment through the company’s contractor partners.
These include employees from Virgin, Qantas and Monadelphous who found themselves out of work.
The hiring spree is aimed to support BHP’s Australian operations through the coronavirus crisis.
According to BHP group procurement officer Sundeep Singh, its strong Australian labour hire and service partnerships have allowed the almost immediate start of short-term employment opportunities.
“Working with our labour hire partners and contracts and services providers, such as Programmed, we are proud to welcome our newest recruits from Qantas, Virgin and Monadelphous who recently started in contract roles at our operations based in Western Australia and Queensland,” he said.
Programmed Skilled Workforce chief executive Nic Fairbank said working together with industry had never been more important.
“We are committed to working collaboratively with BHP to provide great people covering a range of skills needed for their operations,” he said.
In Western Australia, BHP has also participated in a government-endorsed trial of molecular testing (nose and throat swabs).
This was already used in some parts of its petroleum operations in the United States.
BHP is also set to begin field trials of a coronavirus tracing app at the company’s Chilean site and among its office employees.
This could see the introduction of the internally-developed app in each of BHP’s mining and petroleum sites globally.
“In the event that an employee or contractor tests positive to COVID-19, authorised HSE personnel would use that person’s data – with their permission – to identify their movements while at work and quickly isolate, clean and sanitise the areas in which they had been working to reduce the risk of surface transmission,” BHP stated.
“The data could … complement similar measures already in place in countries such as Singapore and Australia.”
BHP also strengthened its company board with the appointment of two new directors, Dion Weisler and Xiaoqun Clever, both of whom boast a solid background in technology.