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We know access to childcare is a big issue in regional communities. That’s why we are investing in a program to train more early childhood educators in the Pilbara.

BHP is proudly partnering with Child Australia to fund the Thriving Futures Academy work-readiness program focused on creating and nurturing a sustainable early learning educator workforce in Port Hedland and Newman.

Building on the success of the Thriving Futures project, the Academy provides candidates with an intensive 12-week immersion experience into the early learning sector.

Following successful completion of the program, Academy graduates will be offered full scholarships to obtain the skills and qualifications alongside their career in early learning in a participating centre in Port Hedland or Newman.

BHP WA Manager Communities, Chris Cottier, said, “As a regional employer we recognise the importance of early years education across the Pilbara. The Academy will provide career entrants with a pathway to engage in a challenging and rewarding career, and it will create a sustainable, qualified workforce.

“And more importantly, it will allow more families to access quality childcare in Port Hedland and Newman for years to come,” Chris explained.

The Academy is open to all applicants, specifically encouraging the Indigenous community, school leavers, parents re-entering the workforce, and mature-age workers looking to reinvigorate their careers.

Child Australia’s CEO Ms Tina Holtom said, “The Academy immersion experience is about empowering those interested in establishing their career in the early years. Working with children in their early years is possibly one of the most rewarding careers, but it requires a high level of commitment and passion. The educator role is multi-faceted and critically important, so it is essential that we nurture candidates right from the start, to be their absolute best when working with children and families.”

This week the Academy welcomes its first successful candidate Nadia. With a Bachelor of Educational Arts from Egypt, Nadia and her husband migrated to Australia and settled in Port Hedland post the Egyptian Revolution in 2011. Nadia and her family have immersed themselves in the community, and with her 2 young children she is excited at the opportunity to be involved in the Thriving Futures project. On the opportunity, Nadia stated “I believe that nothing is impossible, with study and practice, I can do anything. I’m always hungry to learn and love to share my experiences with people”.

The Thriving Futures Academy will not only encourage career entrants but will provide a Mentorship program for senior Centre leaders. The ongoing commitment to supporting and developing these leaders will ensure a sustainable and thriving early years sector for generations to come.

Learn more here.

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