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BHP thinks big to build the tech talent pipeline

When faced with a big problem, like ensuring BHP has the right technical skills and expertise for the future, Jo Heyes from BHP’s Resource Centre of Excellence decided to think REALLY big.

“We know the number of Australian students enrolling in resource specific degrees such as mining engineering or geoscience isn’t enough to satisfy the demands of the industry, so we had to take action and do something different,” Jo said.

The Minerals Australia First Year Intern Program was co-designed and developed across many areas of BHP to target first year university students starting out in generalist science and engineering courses.

Natasha Van Wyk, Manager Learning Design, Human Resources, said trialling this approach is vital to ensure that we have the talent and skills BHP needs for the future. 

“By inviting these students to experience some of the opportunities BHP has to offer, we hope the knowledge and skills they gain will guide their decision to take up a much-needed technical specialisation and choose a career in Mining they really enjoy,” Natasha said.

The first cohort, comprised of 60 students, is now halfway through the program. With 60 per cent of the group being female, it’s anticipated that this will translate to increased female representation at BHP through the BHP Graduate Program.

The Minerals Australia First Year Intern Program

The program runs for about six weeks and is a mix of virtual, office-based and site-based learning. Participants can leverage the vast expertise within BHP and do deep-dives into specialist topics such as mining engineering, geoscience, hydrogeology, geomechanics. rehabilitation, tailings and water stewardship.

Importantly, the program demystifies mining and gives participants an honest look at the challenges and diverse opportunities that the mining industry has to offer.

Tobias Massang was one of our first interns and found the experience beneficial in so many ways.

“Learning about state-of-the-art technologies and mining techniques from BHP – a world leader in the resources industry, and then seeing their real time implementation on site is a learning opportunity and an experience that’s invaluable in helping me shape my career path,” Tobias said.

Fellow intern, Lara Way, found the people she met made her experience so much richer and provided a strong support network she hopes will continue long into her career.

“My experience as an intern at BHP has provided me with the unique opportunity to establish a diverse and supportive network with people who have consistently provided me with expert advice, encouragement, friendship, support and mentorship as I start my career in the resources industry,” Lara said.

With the program running across Minerals Australia, participants are exposed to a broad overview of BHP and talent can be pooled from across the country.

Thinking about your next career move? Then think big. Because while the world relies on the resources we find, BHP relies on people like you. Apply now at