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When she’s not renovating her house in Far North Queensland, Kellie Watson is studying to become a Mechanical Maintenance Associate with BHP’s FutureFit Academy. In this Get to Know profile, Kellie shares what a day looks like at the FutureFit Academy, and her highlights so far.

What are you studying at FutureFit Academy?

I am currently studying to become a Mechanical Maintenance Associate. The course focuses on preventative maintenance, which is a major focus for Operations Services (OS).

What’s been your highlight so far?

It would have to be carrying out inspections on the conveyor, isolation gate, chutes and sump pump. Hands-on work is proving to be a great learning opportunity and goes perfectly with our training tutorials. 

What does a typical day look like as a FutureFit Academy student?

A typical day starts with a pre-start meeting led by trainers and supervisors. This always covers safety, which is a major focus. We look at what we did to work safely or safer from the previous day, and what opportunity we may have had to work safely on an earlier shift. We highlight great teamwork or behaviours and then talk about the plan for the day. This might include work out in the field, digital tutorials or virtual reality sessions. I try to support and guide my younger team members on their FutureFit Academy path.

What would you say to someone looking to join the FutureFit Academy?

I recommend the FutureFit Academy to anyone interested in looking for a long-term career in mining with a reliable and reputable company. From the start, we’re employed on a permanent basis, which is a great incentive, and provides future security with guaranteed employment and deployment to a mine site once training is complete. As part of the first round of FutureFit Academy students, we know we are a priority to the company, and our growth and mastery of our newfound careers are of the utmost importance. Management also regularly visit us, which helps give an insight into mine life and what they may be looking for in future employees. 

What do you like to get up to when you’re not learning? 

I enjoy renovating my house with my father, and I love to visit local tourist spots like Airlie Beach and Pioneer valley with my children and friends. I am also a fan of karaoke! 

Ready to kickstart your mining career? The BHP FutureFit Academy forges new territory in the way BHP prepares its people for an exciting career in mining. Launching in early 2020, the FutureFit Academy offers apprenticeships in Heavy Diesel Fitting, Mechanical Fitting and Maintenance traineeships. Each FutureFit Academy student is offered a permanent position within BHP’s Operations Services. Ready to start something big? Visit the FutureFit Academy website for more details.

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