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Fortescue program a meaningful GIFT for Indigenous employees

Giovanni Torre -

Fortescue, in collaboration with Curtin University and the Pilbara Kimberley University Centres, recently launched a pilot program providing the company’s First Nations employees with an opportunity to pursue higher education in engineering.

The Graduate in Fortescue Together (GIFT) program allows participants to undertake a Curtin University Undergraduate Certificate in Engineering, 100 per cent funded by Fortescue, at the Pilbara University Centres in Port Hedland.

The course will cover four key units delivered by Curtin staff: Engineering Foundations; Sustainability and Renewable Energy; Fundamentals of Programming; and Resources, Processes, and Materials Engineering, and involves both in-person and online components.

Launching the program in Port Hedland in February Fortescue Metals chief executive Dino Otranto congratulated the inaugural cohort of 12 employees.

"The GIFT program is so impressive because it’s a remarkable opportunity to get a foot into the world of engineering with the full support and funding of Fortescue,’ he said.

"This program will drive long-lasting positive change and opportunity for our First Nations team members, while creating exciting new career pathways as we continue to upskill our people."

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne said Curtin was proud to collaborate on the GIFT program and help create opportunities for Indigenous people in the field of engineering.

“This program exemplifies the positive impact that partnerships between Curtin and industry leaders like Fortescue can have on our communities," Professor Hayne said.

Pilbara Kimberley University Centres chief executive, Susan Grylls, congratulated the students for taking the first step in their learning journey.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the GIFT program, contributing to the creation of exciting new career pathways for First Nations talent in engineering,” she said.

"The GIFT program is a vital step towards empowering First Nations talent in the Pilbara region. By providing an accessible and tailored educational experience, we aim to support students in building successful careers in engineering.”

The inaugural GIFT cohort comprises 12 Fortescue teammates, with an equal gender split and ages ranging from 28 to 49.

 

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