Fortescue Metals Group’s Chris Mayfield, OAM has been recognised as the winner of ‘Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to Veterans’ Employment’ at Australia’s Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards.
Third generation soldier, Mr Mayfield, was awarded for his instrumental role in establishing Fortescue’s Rapid Trades Upskilling program which was created to expand veterans’ qualifications to meet mining industry standards. Since the launch of the program in August 2018, over 57 veterans have commenced work at Fortescue mine sites in the Pilbara.
“Defence force personnel traditionally have great planning, execution and leadership skills and I was confident that Fortescue, with its values of family, empowerment and integrity, would be a great place for veterans to begin their career after the military,” Mr Mayfield said.
“We’ve taken on more than 50 veterans in a very short period of time and in 9 months we’ll aim to have over 150 veterans in our business. I encourage any other business or corporation in Australia to implement programs that enable returned service personnel to contribute their unique skills to their company.”
Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, praised Chris’s efforts in pioneering the program.
“Chris’s vision to support and train veterans for a career in the mining industry is a wonderful demonstration of the Fortescue values of determination, generating ideas and empowerment,” Ms Gaines said.
“The Australian Defence Force provides excellent experience and training, and we saw an opportunity to capture the diverse and highly transferrable skills of defence force personnel as they transition into civilian careers in the resources sector. The successful recruitment program has already positively impacted Fortescue with the veterans displaying a strong affinity to Fortescue’s culture and values and quickly becoming members of the Fortescue family.”
Fortescue’s Rapid Trades Upskilling program is a four week course that builds on veterans’ experience as heavy road transport auto-mechanics and allows them to specialise in heavy mobile equipment mechanics. Completion of the program qualifies successful participants with relevant work licenses and the ability to operate safely and productively in a resources environment.