Rio Tinto has announced a $3 million partnership with the University of Western Australia to increase the supply of graduates entering the mining industry.
Rio said the partnership would help establish a global network of universities to help foster a skills base for the resources sector.
It said the partnership would also have a "strong scholarship framework" to provide around 40 students with access to mining-related education.
In a statement UWA Vice-Chancellor Paul Johnson said the agreement would help give students access to "real-life work environments and work experience".
Rio Tinto iron ore CEO Sam Walsh said in a statement the partnership would also help more young people score mining jobs.
“Aside from further developing our relationship with UWA, this program will increase Rio Tinto’s access to quality graduate and post-graduate students seeking mining industry careers,” he said.
“This partnership will focus on building career and learning opportunities and will establish a capacity of sustainable skills for the future benefit of the industry and the broader community.”
Rio said it employed over 300 graduates in 2012, and had more than 4,000 graduate and post-graduate staff already at the company.
Earlier this month Rio Tinto launched one of Australia's largest recruitment drives ever and said it wanted to fill 6,000 empty mining jobs in four months.