Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) has celebrated the graduation of 17 Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) students from South Hedland and Roebourne with all graduates taking up positions at Fortescue’s Cloudbreak and Solomon mine sites.
Ms Jocelyn Winder, a graduate of Fortescue’s Roebourne VTEC, lives in the Cheeditha Community, outside of Roebourne, and has previously found it challenging to secure ongoing employment.
"As a mother returning to work, VTEC has allowed me to begin working in the mining industry while remaining in my community. This means a lot to me and my family, as we have the chance to be financially secure and I can give back to my people,” Ms Winder said.
Chief Executive Officer, Ms Elizabeth Gaines, said Fortescue is in a unique position to provide long term employment opportunities to Aboriginal and remote communities in Western Australia.
“VTEC is a fundamental part of our commitment to ensuring that the success of our business contributes to building sustainable communities.”
“We are providing a hand up, not a hand out and driving real economic and generational change in in the regions where Fortescue operates,” Ms Gaines said.
Fortescue encourages and supports its employees to remain in regional WA through housing policies, training facilities and community development programs as well as charter flights operating from regional areas including Karratha, Port Hedland, Broome, Fitzroy Crossing and Kununurra. 524 of Fortescue’s employees are based in the Pilbara.
Fortescue’s VTEC program is based on the simple but compelling idea: after successfully completing training with Fortescue, you are guaranteed a job.
Since the initiative began a decade ago, more than 797 Aboriginal people have begun employment with Fortescue and around 849 Aboriginal people have received driver education and health and literacy support service.