The Western Australian Government, through South Metropolitan TAFE, has partnered with BHP to design a unique pilot training program to increase diversity in the company’s Pilbara workforce.
Aimed at boosting the number of Aboriginal people and women in the workforce, the Maintenance Associate Diversity Pathway Program trains participants for a Certificate II in Construction Pathways – Building Maintenance and an additional skill set in electrical test and tag statutory compliance.
The tailored, work-ready program will help BHP meet its need for maintenance associate workers who perform general maintenance duties alongside trade professionals and progress towards its goal of achieving gender balance in its workforce by 2025.
The first cohort of 15 students, funded by BHP, started in the six-month pilot program in July this year, training at the specialist construction facility at South Metropolitan TAFE’s Rockingham campus.
Upon completion of the program, the students will take part in a recruitment process conducted by BHP, with successful applicants offered employment with the company starting in 2022.
Construction of a simulated transportable dwelling at the Rockingham TAFE campus and a visit to a BHP mining camp in the Pilbara will acquaint students with their potential working environment.
Students receive support from South Metropolitan TAFE’s Student Services and engagement officers from the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre, which managed applications and enquiries for the pilot program and is a one-stop shop for careers, training and employment advice and assistance.
Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, said a key theme for the recently held Skills Summit was for all industry sectors to support measures to increase workforce participation among groups that experience specific barriers to employment, including Aboriginal people and women returning to work, and this program is a great example of how the resource sector is doing this.
“By encouraging more Aboriginal people and women into its workforce, BHP is making a positive investment into WA’s future workforce,” the Premier said.
Education and Training Minister, Sue Ellery, added that the pilot Maintenance Associate Diversity Pathway Program is a wonderful example of TAFE and industry working together to trial an innovative training solution to meet skills needs in today’s workforce environment.
“BHP and South Metropolitan TAFE’s commitment to this program is helping to ensure training programs remain contemporary and relevant and support the needs of the community, industry and the economy,” Minister Ellery said.
To find out more about the program, contact the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre on 9599 8655 or visit the Jobs and Skills WA website at www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/jobs-and-skills-centre