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Training pilot program to increase diversity in WA workforce

South Metropolitan TAFE has partnered with BHP to design a unique pilot training program to increase diversity in its Pilbara workforce.

Aimed at boosting the number of Aboriginal people and women in the workforce, the Maintenance Associate Diversity Pathway Program trains participants for a Certificate II in Construction Pathways - Building Maintenance and an additional skill set in electrical test and tag statutory compliance.

The tailored, work-ready program will help BHP meet its need for maintenance associate workers who perform general maintenance duties alongside trade professionals, and progress towards its goal of achieving gender balance in its workforce by 2025.

The first cohort of 15 students, funded by BHP, started in the six-month pilot program in July this year, training at the specialist construction facility at SM TAFE's Rockingham campus.

Upon completion of the program, the students will take part in a recruitment process conducted by BHP, with successful applicants offered employment with the company starting in 2022.

Construction of a simulated transportable dwelling at the Rockingham TAFE campus and a visit to a BHP mining camp in the Pilbara will acquaint students with their potential working environment.

Students receive support from SM TAFE's Student Services and engagement officers from the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre, which managed applications and enquiries for the pilot program and is a one-stop shop for careers, training and employment advice and assistance.

To find out more about the program, contact the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre on 9599 8655 or visit the Jobs and Skills WA website at in a new tab)