Iron ore giant Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) has been recognised for its program for Indigenous workers at the Australian Mines and Metals Association National (AMMA) Conference in Perth.
The company’s training program Trade Up won the Indigenous Employment and Retention Award at the leading mining conference on Thursday (Aug 4).
Fortescue CEO Nev Power said the company recognised the need to develop career progression opportunities for its Aboriginal workforce.
About 38 workers are currently completing training under the Trade Up program which was launched in September last year. The training is an accredited pathway to an apprenticeship.
“By giving our Aboriginal team members the chance to work towards a trade qualification while on the job, Fortescue’s Trade Up is creating long-term career pathways and, ultimately, changing lives,” Mr Power said.
“We are especially proud that 21 per cent of the current trainees are women.”
Group Manager Fortescue People, Linda O’Farrell, who accepted the award for the company, said the success of the program was rewarding.
“We are incredibly proud of the Trade Up trainees, many of whom have progressed on to their formal apprenticeship,” she said.
“The trainees’ achievements are shared with our contracting partners. The commitment of Downer, Goodline, Thiess, ICRG, GUMA, DVG and EGWYC has contributed to the success and sustainability of the program.”
The Trade Up program includes a Certificate II level traineeship in a desired trade.
Participants are trained while at work by qualified tradespeople and receive regular intensive skills training either on the job or at a training centre at Fortescue’s Cloudbreak mine site.
The company’s training partner, South Regional TAFE, provides onsite training and competency reviews and assessment services, as well as language, literacy and numeracy support.