Under the Vocational Education and Training (VET) initiative, according to Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury, the company’s commitment will aid in essential education and training to stay on the cutting edge of the advancements in the mining industry, such as automation.
The VET curriculum, which will begin development in 2018, is the first of its kind in the country. Post-secondary students and mining trainees will have access to the programme by 2019.
“We are generating opportunities for our current and future workforce to gain skills and competencies for smart mining,” Salisbury said, adding that the curriculum will enhance capabilities and expand learning pathways for those seeking to apply their automation and technology knowledge.
The courses in the programme include robotics, data analytics and digital inclusion education.
“By working with South Metropolitan TAFE and the state government, we will deliver the courses that will prepare young West Australians for the jobs of the future,” he said.
The operator has devoted much effort to hiring and retaining industry newcomers, and noted that the demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the community will continue growing.
Over the past six years, Rio Tinto has employed more than 600 apprentices and about 650 graduates. Next year, it expects to recruit 160 more new graduates, vacation students, apprentices and trainees in Western Australia.