PRESS RELEASE: These nationally recognised qualifications are expected to be available at Western Australian TAFE colleges and high schools from 2019.
At a resource industry gathering held at SciTech in West Perth, Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery invited industry guests to join a pioneering Vocational Education and Training (VET) collaboration to further develop training courses to meet the future needs of industry.
To kick-start the collaboration, Jim Walker has been appointed to chair the new alliance. Walker has more than 40 years of business experience, including as the former national president of the Australian Institute of Management, a former CEO of WestTrac Group, and is currently chairman of the WA State Training Board.
In attendance were industry representatives from a number of leading resource companies, including BHP, Woodside, Chevron, Alcoa, Fortescue Metals Group, Monadelphous, Komatsu, Roy Hill, Caterpillar, and many others who all share a strong interest in strengthening STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) capabilities and educational pathways.
As part of its contribution to the training and education of Western Australians, Rio Tinto has previously committed up to A$2 million (US$1.5 million) to develop the new qualifications that will see Australia’s first certificate courses in automation available from next year.
Similar programmes will also be made available through VET pathways in Western Australian high schools. Together they will become Australia’s first nationally accredited courses in automation, building on critical digital skills requirements for the future.
Salisbury said: “The purpose of the VET collaboration led by the state government and Rio Tinto is to ensure Western Australia’s workforce has the skills that industry will need, for the jobs automation technology is creating.
“This is not only about retraining existing workers to transition to new jobs, it is also about building on the skills of the people that power Western Australia’s diverse industries and developing talent pipelines to ensure the state’s workforce is prepared for the changes and opportunities that will emerge.”