Mining giant FMG has unveiled its first Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) graduates of 2016, with 11 of them bound for the company’s remote Cloudbreak mine in WA’s Pilbara.

And not unusually, more than half of them are women.

Roseanne Simpson, a standout graduate who has already won an internal company award for leadership and teamwork during the VTEC program, said the training had opened her eyes.

“I’ve always known Fortescue to have a reputation for doing things differently and to have a strong focus on helping Aboriginal people,” Ms Simpson said.

Having commenced their training in January, the graduates have completed a number of TAFE units, including First Aid, as well as receiving a qualification in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island mental health aid.

On site, the graduates will continue to learn and develop under the keen leadership of Cloudbreak general manager Maryanne Kelly. Ms Kelly is passionate about supporting women in mining and helping people thrive in their career.

“As Fortescue’s first mine site, Cloudbreak has a long and proud history of supporting VTEC graduates. The graduates have already shown themselves to be hard working and determined, and everyone at Cloudbreak looks forward to supporting them to reach their full potential,” Ms Kelly said.

FMG CEO Nev Power said that workplace diversity, including gender and diversity, was a fundamental contributor to business success.

“Fortescue is a stronger business today through the contribution of our women, which is why we are delighted to welcome these graduates into the Fortescue family.”

He said FMG was a leader in creating opportunities through training, employment and Indigenous business development.