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Olympic Dam team taps into automotive best practice

Olympic Dam Asset President, Jacqui McGill, and key members of her leadership team spent the morning at Holden Vehicle Operations to learn more about the best practice in standardised work, lean principles and safety in the automotive industry.

The visit was the third by BHP representatives in the past six months, and follows earlier discussions with Holden employees about potential Olympic Dam opportunities during an open day in 2016 and a production facilities tour in March.

Ms McGill said BHP had adopted a manufacturing mindset under CEO Andrew Mackenzie with a relentless focus on safety, productivity and continuous improvement.

“It was a very valuable opportunity to see first-hand the very successful safety, quality and productivity journey that Holden has taken its people on,” Ms McGill said.

“As an industry committed to safety, we are keen to identify new team members with a solid safety record who could support Olympic Dam’s journey to being a safe, reliable and globally competitive business.

“South Australian-based industries like the resource sector can benefit from this global manufacturing experience. We had a number of leaders from HR, Health and Safety, Engineering, Mine Production and Surface Processing who all took something away from the Holden Transition Program.”

Holden’s Transition Centre at Elizabeth opened in 2014 to assist its manufacturing workforce move into new industries as the company becomes a full-line importer. Since then, Holden has engaged with HR and business leaders from around Australia to tour the Elizabeth site and learn more about the skills and capabilities of the workforce.

Leading the BHP tour was Holden HR Director Manufacturing, Jamie Getgood.

“This collaboration with BHP Billiton is part of an active campaign by Holden to identify and work with other companies to create job opportunities, as part of our ongoing transition support for our manufacturing employees,” he said.

“There is strong recognition of the high calibre and transferable skills of our employees, who have received years of training in areas such as continuous improvement, lean principles, standard operating and safe work practices.

“These skills are transferable to so many other sectors and Holden is keen to replicate these transition programs with other companies of any size, in any industry.

“So far we already have seen 78% of our former employees successfully transition, which shows their adaptability and value in the job market.”

BHP is currently recruiting to fill more than 350 roles in South Australia as it expands the underground operation into the Southern Mine Area at Olympic Dam. The permanent and contract roles are based in Adelaide and on-site at Olympic Dam, with a mix of positions in the Southern Mine Area, as well as operator, trades and functional support roles in areas such as Health, Safety and Environment.