The graduates, including three women, are now all permanent employees for the miner’s iron-ore sites across the Pilbara, Western Australia. They were recognised at a recent ceremony at the Fortescue Trades Training Centre at Cloudbreak.
CEO Elizabeth Gaines noted that out of the graduates of the programme, which covers training for electricians and mechanics for light and heavy vehicles and fixed plant, more than 80% are Aboriginal Australians.
During the apprenticeship, all trainees complete rotations across sites and a three-month external secondment.
Gaines added that the apprenticeship programme has served as a complement to Fortescue’s other existing initiatives, including its Trade Up programme, and Vocational Training and Employment Centres.
“Nationally, female participation in the trades that service the mining industry is around 1%,” she said. “If we want to benefit from greater diversity in the resources sector, we need to ensure we are building a greater pool of talent.”
Fortescue’s Trade Up programme was launched in 2015 and offers a 12-month traineeship with a pathway to a four-year apprenticeship programme.