Increasing First Nations employment rates in our Australian workforce remains a key priority for us. In February 2022, we achieved the milestone of 1,000 First Nations employees. Our First Nations employment rate continued to increase this year, with First Nations people holding 10 per cent of total positions, four per cent of leadership positions and 15 per cent of positions within our Pilbara operations.
Our Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) has been providing sustainable career pathways for First Nations people for 16 years. Built on the concept that following the completion of training, participants are guaranteed employment. The program is a key part of our training and development strategy.
First Nations leaders are critical to enabling a culture that supports and allows First Nations people to thrive. We provide a range of professional development opportunities for First Nations employees with leadership aspirations to realise their goals. A key component of this is our Leadership and Excellence in Aboriginal People (LEAP) program.
Our First Nations training and employment programs are complemented by initiatives designed to overcome the barriers faced by First Nations people in securing and maintaining work. We employ a full time health coordinator and implement a First Nations Health Program that aims to improve the health of our First Nations workforce. Key responsibilities of the health coordinator are to:
We strive to build a workplace that understands, supports and champions First Nations people through the following:
Our commitment to preserve and promote Indigenous history and culture is embedded in our approach to operating sustainably and responsibly.
We work in partnership with the First Nations people of the land where our projects are located to ensure sites of cultural significance are identified and managed.
We are the only Pilbara-based mining company with flights between all mine sites and the major communities of Karratha, Port Hedland, Broome, Kununurra and Fitzroy Crossing.
This allows our First Nations team members to remain on Country with their families while still accessing employment opportunities.