ENVIRONMENT

FMG brings more young shunters on board

THE second intake of team members from Fortescue Metals Group’s School Leaver Shunting Trainee program have started at its Rail Operations team in Port Hedland.

FMG School Leaver Shunting Trainee Program graduates Ayla Farrell (left), Mikaela Taylor, Ashlee Ward, Haelee Brockman and Grace Cottier.

FMG School Leaver Shunting Trainee Program graduates Ayla Farrell (left), Mikaela Taylor, Ashlee Ward, Haelee Brockman and Grace Cottier.

The program was launched in 2018 as a way of tackling the ageing workforce problem in the rail sector.

With 53% of the Australian rail workforce aged over 45, FMG developed the program to meet the labour shortage and recruit a younger, more diverse workforce.

The program allows the Port Hedland-based school leavers to complete a Certificate II in Shunting under the supervision of FMG's rail shunting team.

On completion of the traineeship participants will be encouraged to apply for full-time positions at FMG.

FMG rail operations superintendent Catherine Saunders said the program was established in response to the limited number of employment opportunities for Port Hedland school leavers.

"We recognised the gap in the market for younger people working in rail shunting roles and this was a catalyst for developing the program," she said.

"It allows us to retain our older crew by offering flexible job-share options with the younger recruits."

Shunter Ayla Farrell, who was part of the first trainee intake, said the program provided her with a career pathway into the mining industry.

"Participating in the program has not only provided me with the opportunity to become a qualified shunter, but also remain in my local community in Port Hedland," she said.

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