Coal & Allied Aboriginal relations specialist Cate Sims said the company saw the program as part of a company-wide strategy of trying to overcome indigenous disadvantage and maintaining diversity in its Australian operations.
Four high school students have started school-based traineeships with Singleton Council in tourism, horticulture, automotive and business administration.
The program ensures structured mentoring, guidance and support is available to each student through the partnership with Coal & Allied and NovaSkill.
“Through the Coal & Allied Aboriginal community development fund, we work to support initiatives that demonstrate strong potential to address disadvantages experienced by Aboriginal people and enable them to take full advantage of economic and social opportunities across the Hunter Valley,” Sims said.
“We see it as an extension of the strong partnerships we’ve developed with the Aboriginal communities around our operations.
“As part of the Rio Tinto group – Australia’s largest private sector employer of Aboriginal people – it is just one of the many ways in which we are striving to increase diversity of the workforce at our minesites and in the communities around us.”