Training Initiative Award

Sponsored by INPEX.

Winner: Mineral Council Australia (MCA) in collaboration with Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE)

The minerals industry in Australia plays a significant role in the economic viability of rural and remote communities. This economic viability is underpinned directly through employment and business enterprise opportunities as well as broader development initiatives within the industry.

While the industry has engaged with Aboriginal communities and provided employment and training opportunities for some time, the growing shortage of skilled labour has highlighted regional and remote communities as an underutilised, underestimated and untapped resource base. A workshop comprising of eight Northern Territory-based mining companies, the MCA’s NT division and the NT Government was held in 2009 to address these issues.

The result was the MCA-NT Indigenous Pre-Employment Program - an industry-driven program designed to enable Aboriginal people to achieve a standard of job readiness and gain entry into the mining industry. The Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) entered into partnership with MCA-NT to facilitate the education aspects of the program.

Students spend 50% of their time undertaking the selected courses at BIITE’s Batchelor Campus and registered training organisations’ training workshops, and the remaining 50% on-the-job with their mining company employer. To assist participants understand and prepare, the program is designed around working life at a mine with 12 hour days for two weeks in shared dormitory living with alcohol and drug testing and high nutrition and fitness expectations before a seven day rest period.

The target enrolment for the program is 30 students per semester or 60 students per year. The success rate to date has been 84% with the most pleasing aspect of these results being that many graduates remain employed.

As a result of the achievements so far, the course has received unanimous support from all parties to continue. The program is always in a constant state of review to ensure the project content and delivery remains relevant to industry and the participants.

Runner up: Training Connections Australia (TCA) in collaboration with ITEC Employment

Last updated: 18 October 2019

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