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BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has welcomed its largest intake of local apprentices in a number of years at a ceremony at the Coalfield Training Excellence Centre in Moranbah.

BMA Asset President, James Palmer, said it’s crucial that BMA’s workforce is constructed from a solid foundation of local people, and he’s thrilled 56 new apprentices have now started at mines across the Bowen Basin.

“For BMA to continue being a valued part of Central Queensland we need to ensure it has successful, sustainable and vibrant communities, and our apprenticeship program is one of the key ways that we are investing in this region’s future.” Mr Palmer said.

This year’s cohort features apprentices from across the region including 12 apprentices from Moranbah, 12 from greater Mackay, five from the Rockhampton region, four from Blackwater, four from Dysart and a further seven from Central and North Queensland.

“We have a fantastic group of apprentices joining us this year, from school leavers through to experienced workers, Indigenous people, men and women,” Mr Palmer added, “We see them as a cornerstone of our business.”

There is a variety of trades represented in the new cohort including Electricians, Diesel Fitters, Auto-Electricians, Mechanical Fitters and Boilermakers.

Will Burgess from Moranbah has commenced an electrical apprenticeship at BMA’s Peak Downs mine.

“My apprenticeship is the first step on the career path that I’ve always dreamed of” Mr Burgess said, “It’s a privilege to be working at BMA, where I can access the best support and mentors on the road to becoming an electrician.”

The apprentices completed a six-week work readiness program at the Coalfield Training Excellence Centre prior to commencing at mines throughout the Bowen Basin today.

The program equipped them with the skills required to work at mine sites, with a heavy emphasis on safety.

BMA is partnering with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, CQ University and the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network in the delivery of its apprenticeship program.

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