Uni leavers get hands-on experience through BHP’s Graduates Program

BHP Billiton subsidiary Illawarra Coal has recruited nine university graduates to work at its three south-coast coal mines.

The new workers were chosen through the company’s three-year graduate program which aims to transition university leavers into BHP’s working environment.

Around 950 graduates currently work on BHP sites.

Illawarra Coal's head of external affairs John Brannon said the miner got the "best of the best" applicants, Illawarra Mercury reported.

"We are looking forward to building our professional skills base for the future," Brannon said.

The team will gain experience in mining, mechanical and electrical engineering, geology, surveying or communications and will rotate yearly between Appin, West Cliff and Dendrobium mines.

University of Wollongong electrical engineering graduate Steven Sultana said he was excited to be part of the lucky few who received placements with Illawarra Coal.

"I've always had a passion for electrical engineering," he said.

"I think this program will definitely test everything I learnt at university."

Sultana said he applied for the program because of the training, skills and experience he will learn on the job.

Nicola Curtis graduated in science and commerce and will train as a geologist with the company.

"Mining is a great way for a geologist to gain experience and training," she said.

Applications for the next round of graduate positions are now available through the BHP website.

The company says its program supports people to “complete a number of work-based, team and experiential activities to help you build your functional base, develop decision-making, communication and stakeholder engagement skills, and learn what it takes to be an inclusive leader at BHP Billiton”.

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