Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG, Fortescue) has launched an innovative apprenticeship program, known as “Trade Up” which will increase the number of qualified Aboriginal tradespeople in its workforce.
Fortescue and its key contracting partners are working in collaboration on the program, an industry first in both its scale and potential impact.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Nev Power joined Hon Liza Harvey MLA, WA Minister for Police, Road Safety, Training and Workforce Development and Women's Interests to officially launch Trade Up at an event in Perth today.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Mr Power said: “Fortescue is committed to creating economic opportunities for Aboriginal people through training, employment and business development by providing a hand up, not a hand out. Consistent with our land access agreements, we are again delivering a sustainable program that will deliver generational benefits to our Native Title partners.”
“We’re proud to be leading the way in training for guaranteed jobs for Aboriginal people. The Trade Up program will open up the life-changing opportunity of a trade qualification for up to 40 of our Aboriginal employees every year.”
“We particularly welcome the support and collaboration of our key contracting partners in this innovative program which sets a new benchmark for industry-led Aboriginal apprenticeship schemes. All of the participating contractors will provide opportunities for work in a range of businesses and different trades for the successful applicants, ensuring the success of the program.”
Commencing in October, up to 40 Aboriginal employees will be selected annually by Fortescue to start a 12-month traineeship which will then provide a pathway to a four-year apprenticeship program.
• Participating contractors: Downer, Goodline, Thiess, ICRG, GUMA, DVG and EGWYC.
• Fortescue’s direct employed workforce is 13% Aboriginal and about 1000 Aboriginal people work for Fortescue or its contractors.
• Fortescue’s VTEC model of training for a guaranteed job has been adopted and rolled out as a national program by the Federal Government, with Fortescue’s Roebourne and Port Hedland VTECs accredited under the model.
• Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities program has now awarded more than $1.8 billion in contract value to Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures.