Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) has celebrated the latest graduation of students from the South Hedland based Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) who will now embark on full-time employment at the company’s Christmas Creek Mine.
The group is proof that age is no barrier when it comes to forging new career pathways, with participants ranging from 18 to 40 years old, the majority of whom had no mining experience before commencing with VTEC.
Chief Executive Officer Nev Power said, “The diversity within this group of graduates is a testament to the program’s ability to empower Aboriginal people to gain employment on their own merit regardless of their age or experience.”
“Fortescue’s VTEC provides individualised support that is delivering real outcomes for Aboriginal people through training for guaranteed jobs, and in turn strengthening the whole community,” said Nev Power.
“It is never too early or too late to embrace education and opportunity.”
The graduates, who have varying levels of work experience, completed a new onsite training module that further strengthens their readiness for site based roles with a particular focus on safety. The module sees VTEC trainees shadow employees from
the company’s Port and Rail operations during their day to day tasks.
Fernando Pereira, Group Manager Port and Rail said “The onsite module uses our own people and resources to provide firsthand experience to our future Fortescue employees and enables them to feel confident in their new careers”.
Jasmine Barunga, the youngest graduate who recently turned 18, said the training program in her hometown of Port Hedland, has been a great foundation for a long term sustainable career.
“The thought of starting my first full time job was rather daunting. After completing the VTEC program I feel ready and I’m excited about the possibilities that lie ahead of me” she said.
Gaelene Gray, 40 years old, came to VTEC facing difficulty finding work after a period of unemployment.
“The support I have received through the VTEC program has given me the confidence and experience I needed to embark on a new career path.”Background
Fortescue’s VTEC program provides guaranteed jobs for Aboriginal people and the training and support to succeed in those jobs; a model that is putting an end to training for training’s sake.
Fortescue is a leader in its commitment to creating opportunities for Aboriginal people through training, employment and Aboriginal business development. The success of these programs can be measured by the 1,100 Aboriginal people working at Fortescue’s
operations and the personal success stories of the program’s graduates.