Fortescue invests $25m in mining skills

The Cloudbreak ore processing facility in Western Australia. Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group has pledged $25 million to create around 200 new traineeship positions across the company, including entry-level positions in safety and autonomous operations.

The company hopes the investment will enhance the West Australian mining sector’s future workforce through skills development pathways.

Fortescue is particularly focussing on those who have not previously worked in the mining sector.

Other entry-level opportunities covered by the investment include business administration, human resources and operations and hospitality.

The iron ore miner’s first wave of mine control trainees were recently welcomed into the company for a 12-month formal training program, which will enable them to develop autonomous operations skills.

Sixty per cent of the trainees are female, while 85 per cent are from an Aboriginal background.

Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said the West Australian mining sector was vital to Australia’s economy, and required the development of future skills for the next generation of the country’s mining workforce.

“The West Australian mining sector continues to play a significant role in Australia’s economic recovery, employing thousands of people and making a substantial contribution to the state and national economies through the payment of taxes and royalties,” she said.

“In line with our commitment to ensuring communities benefit from our growth and development, we are providing new training and employment opportunities for West Australians while also investing in the future of our workforce by ensuring there is a sustainable pipeline of talent with the necessary skills to support our business.”

According to Fortescue mine control trainee Leteasha Desmond, the mining traineeships provide a valuable opportunity for new workers.

“Mining is such a diverse industry which is constantly evolving so there are so many possibilities,” Desmond said.

“These traineeships show that you do not need to have experience to get your foot in the door.”

Fortescue employs around 15,000 people across its operations.

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