Fortescue strengthens shunters program in Port Hedland

Image: Fortescue Metals Group.

Fortescue Metals Group’s school leaver shunting trainee program has welcomed its second intake of team members to the company’s Port Hedland rail operations team.

The program, launched in February 2018, aims to recruit a younger, more diverse workforce to meet a labour shortage and supplement an ageing workforce.

The traineeship offers an entry-level pathway into the mining industry for Port Hedland-based school leavers by completing a Certificate II in Shunting.

Fortescue rail operations superintendent Catherine Saunders said, “We recognised the gap in the market for younger people working in rail shunting roles and this was a catalyst for developing the program. It allows us to retain our older crew by offering flexible job-share options with the younger recruits.”

Shunter Ayla Farrell said the program helped her break into the mining industry.

“Participating in the program has not only provided me with the opportunity to become a qualified shunter, but also remain in my local community in Port Hedland,” Farrell said.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said the company was committed to creating economic opportunities in the Pilbara by supporting local jobs and promoting diversity.

“We recognise the need to build communities that will attract and retain a strong residential workforce and their families,” Gaines said.

Fortescue has launched several employment programs including the vocational training and employment centre (VTEC) program and the ‘Up 4 It’ initiative.

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