230829_FFA Forrestfield opening

BHP unveils state-of-the art new training centre in WA

BHP has today unveiled its new, state-of-the-art FutureFit Academy in Perth, Western Australia, as part of the company’s commitment to create 2,500 new traineeships and apprenticeships nationally over five years and build the skills needed for modern mining. 

Launched in 2020, the BHP FutureFit Academy offers paid training pathways into the mining industry for those without previous mining experience, at any stage of their career. To date, more than 1100 people have joined the FutureFit program and more than 500 have graduated with qualifications and a guaranteed job with BHP. 

Officially opening the new Perth academy today, BHP President Australia Geraldine Slattery said: “BHP launched the FutureFit Academy in 2020 with a $300 million commitment to create a pipeline of future talent in highly skilled roles that will help that will help support productivity and keep the Australian economy strong.” 

“Minerals and mining are critical to Australia’s economy and the global energy transition. We have an enormous opportunity but also challenges to overcome to keep competing in the global arena, among them the need to build the skills needed in a modern mining sector.” 

Through its two academies in WA and Mackay in Central Queensland, the BHP FutureFit Academy is creating 2,500 new traineeships and apprenticeships over five years, with entrants joining BHP in permanent roles upon graduation. 

The purpose-built learning academies feature the immersive virtual reality technology combined with workshop learning to develop skills and knowledge. They are fully equipped to simulate the workplace, including disability access and parent and prayer rooms. 

“We’re thrilled to have welcomed more than 1,100 people to the FutureFit program and more than 500 graduates into permanent jobs with BHP,” Ms Slattery said. 

“Through an innovative approach to training and employment, we’ve opened the door to a more diverse talent pool, especially people from non-mining backgrounds who want to reskill or pursue a new career.”  

“Our new BHP FutureFit Academy in Perth will provide an even better learning experience for the next wave of Australia’s tradespeople, technicians and maintenance professionals.” 

The new BHP FutureFit Academy in Forrestfield is more than double the size of its predecessor in Welshpool, with an additional 110,000 square metres of workshop space and capacity for many more students. 

Students like Kael Thompson and Britnee Amos, who are training at the new facility.  

Kael is a proud 33-year-old Noongar man from Perth and currently 10 months into his maintenance apprenticeship. For 10 years prior to joining FutureFit, Kael worked in a pawnbroker shop. 

“At 33, I never thought I wanted to go for an apprenticeship. It was one of those things that I thought was out of my grasp. But with FutureFit apprenticeships being closer to two years, and based here in Perth, it was something that I jumped at the opportunity to get on board with,” Kael said. 

Britnee, 23, from Perth was working in customer service before deciding she wanted to follow her dream of a career in the mining industry. Britnee is four months into her traineeship as a Maintenance Associate. 

“When the opportunity arose to apply for FutureFit, I decided I was just going to go for it, and when I got the call, I just couldn't believe it. To have paid training, working with people who’ve also had no experience in mining, from all different walks of life, all different ages, and a lot of other females, it’s just so empowering.” 

Forrestfield also offers expanded curriculum, including high-risk work licensing, maintenance associate and trade programs in auto electrical, fabrication mechanical fitting and heavy diesel, and is now delivering the apprentice program for BHP’s Western Australia Iron Ore and Nickel West operations.