24 August 2021
BHP has welcomed the first 54 recruits in BHP’s Rail Academy Traineeship Program that seeks to employ and train 200 train drivers over the next three years.
BHP, Western Australian Iron Ore Asset President, Brandon Craig said: “We are committed to doing our part to address critical skills shortages and create new pathways for people to enter the mining industry.
This $20 million investment will advance the skills base in rail, and train the next generation of train drivers.
Our train drivers are a vital part of our pit to port value chain and the new traineeships will create rewarding careers for our new recruits.
The program also demonstrates our commitment to create jobs and prosperity in regional WA, with the training based at our rail headquarters in Port Hedland.”
Recruits will undergo an intensive 10-month training program in which they will learn specialist skills in train shunting, communication systems and signaling, route planning, and safety and fatigue management.
At the end of the training, they will qualify with a certificate IV in train driving.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said: “I commend BHP for investing in WA jobs with this local training program – which has strong alignment with my Government’s WA Jobs Plan.
“WA jobs have been my number one priority from day one, and we are continuing to focus on reducing interstate FIFO, enhancing local training, and creating jobs in regional WA.
“We will continue to work closely with industry to develop opportunities to build Western Australia’s workforce - to create local jobs and continue to support the growth of our resources sector.”
BHP’s train drivers are responsible for transporting 40,000 tonnes of ore in each train across more than 1000km of track that connects BHP’s operations to Port Hedland.
The experience and expertise of BHP’s existing drivers is an important part of the new driver training program. The new trainees, when they are “passed out”, will allow our drivers to return to an even time roster, and increase flexible work opportunities.
More than 5000 people applied for the program, demonstrating the huge interest there is in local employment and skills development in the mining industry.
BHP provides a number of pathways to join the mining sector, from school-based traineeships in the Pilbara, mature age traineeships such as those offered through the rail trainee driver program and maintenance traineeships and apprenticeships at our FutureFit academy.