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BHP will invest $6.6 million over the next three years as part of the BHP Pilbara Education Partnership. The funding will support two new research-led programs for students across the Pilbara.

The partnership – the largest of its kind in regional Western Australia – between BHP and the Department of Education was established in 2005 to expand education services and improve education outcomes in public schools in Newman, Port Hedland and surrounding areas within the Shire of East Pilbara and Town of Port Hedland.

The Early Years program will take a community-based approach to prepare children for their first years at school, through the provision of family services and early interventions to address any areas of concern. Support services will be provided for children from birth to eight years to help them meet key developmental milestones.

The Pathways program will provide students with support to identify and successfully complete their desired educational pathway through secondary school, into training or further study, and ultimately to obtain employment in their career of choice. Students from Years 7 to 12 will benefit from external training and work placements through new partnerships established between schools and local training providers such as TAFE, as well as industry, and the local community.

BHP Western Australia Iron Ore, Asset President, Brandon Craig said: “We believe that young people living in the Pilbara should have access to the highest quality of education and support services.

The next phase of the partnership builds on the success of previous years. It will help set up children for the best possible start to school. And young people will graduate with important job-ready skills, and the ability to take advantage of the rewarding employment opportunities across the Pilbara.”

WA Minister for Education and Training, Sue Ellery said: “It’s fantastic that BHP has committed to fund this valuable Pilbara Education Partnership for the next three years.

“We know that education is the key to setting young people up to l resources to prepare students.”

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