ENVIRONMENT

Trading up

NOT satisfied with the level of progression of Aboriginal people through its ranks, Fortescue Metals Group decided to do something about it. This has led to the creation of its “Trade Up” program aimed at increasing the number of qualified Aboriginal people in its workforce.

Noel Dyson
A graduate from Fortescue Metals Group's VTEC program.

A graduate from Fortescue Metals Group's VTEC program.

The iron ore miner has long been touting itself as a champion of Aboriginal employment. It has been running its Vocational Training and Employment Centre virtually from day one.
The Trade Up program is similar to an apprenticeship, although it has an additional 12 month traineeship where the candidate gets to work as a trades assistant in their particular area of interest.
Starting in October, up to 40 Aboriginal FMG employees will be chosen to start the 12-month traineeship.
The program is slated to become an annual one.
FMG contractors Downer, Goodline, Thiess, Indigenous Construction Resource Group, Guma, DVG, and the Eastern Guruma and Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Corporation will be taking part.
FMG CEO Nev Power said the company wanted to create an opportunity for its Aboriginal employees to progress.
“It’s about providing significant opportunities for these employees,” he said.
Power said the 12-month traineeship was a bit of a difference to other programs.
“It lets them learn a lot more about the trade they want to do,” he said.
“It gives them the opportunity if they want to change between trades.”
FMG’s direct employed workforce is 13% Aboriginal. About 1000 Aboriginal people work for FMG or its contractors.
The company’s VETC model of training for a guaranteed job has been adopted and rolled out as a national program by the federal government.
FMG’s Roeburne and Port Hedland VTECs have been accredited under the model.
The company’s Billion Opportunities program has awarded more than $1.8 billion in contract value to Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Exploration Report 2024 (feat. Opaxe data)

A comprehensive review of exploration trends and technologies, highlighting the best intercepts and discoveries and the latest initial resource estimates.

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Future Fleets Report 2024

The report paints a picture of the equipment landscape and includes detailed profiles of mines that are employing these fleets

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Digitalisation Report 2023

An in-depth review of operations that use digitalisation technology to drive improvements across all areas of mining production

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Automation Report 2023

An in-depth review of operations using autonomous solutions in every region and sector, including analysis of the factors driving investment decisions