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BHP will more than double the combined intake of apprenticeships and traineeships in Western Australia Iron Ore to 200 positions for 2018.

BHP WA Iron Ore Asset President, Edgar Basto, said expanding the intake for these programs allowed more apprentices and trainees to gain skills and experience working in a global company and would help them build a career locally or internationally.

“We are focused on training and developing people from Port Hedland and Newman to provide local employment opportunities and support local communities,” Mr Basto said.

“That’s why BHP is doubling our combined apprentice and trainee intake for 2018 and we hope to maintain or increase that intake in the years ahead.”

Most of the roles will be based in the Pilbara, with the recruitment for next year’s intake beginning this month.

“BHP will work closely with high schools in Port Hedland and Newman to ensure students who live locally and want a career in mining are included in the recruitment process,” Mr Basto said.

The majority of high school students in Newman and Port Hedland currently choose a VET (Vocational Education and Training) pathway in Year 11 and 12.

BHP currently employs about 300 apprentices and trainees in its WA iron ore operations, with most positions based in the Pilbara, and the expanded intake will build on that.

“It is important that local Pilbara students and residents who see a future in mining are provided with the best possible chance to enter the industry,” Mr Basto said.

A key target of the expanded intake will be to award 1 in 5 apprenticeships and traineeships to Indigenous people.

Apprenticeships run for a four-year term, while traineeships run for 12 to 18 months, with an opportunity to extend. The positions are across a range of disciplines and sites, from mechanical fitters to boilermakers and automotive electricians, across port, rail and mines.

BHP is also working to develop a university scholarship program aimed at supporting ATAR students from Port Hedland and Newman.

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