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BHP will create 2500 new apprenticeship and traineeship positions within five years through its BHP FutureFit Academy hubs at Mackay and Perth.

That will mean about 1250 positions at Mackay, including the 225 people already enrolled, in addition to a separate skills development investment focused on regional areas throughout Australia.

The commitment from BHP chief executive officer Mike Henry is part of a wider training and METS business support package representing an investment of almost $800 million.

It includes funding for 3,500 new Australian apprenticeship and training positions, and driving up to $450 million into supporting business opportunities in Australia’s mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) sector.

Mr Henry said the major skills and technology package would be good for the company and good for the country, as Australia focuses on its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The package comprises three key elements to be deployed over the next five years:
  - An increase of 2500 apprenticeships and traineeships through the BHP FutureFit Academy, established earlier this year, with associated spend of $300 million.
  - A further 1000 skills development opportunities across a range of sectors in regional areas. BHP will invest $30 million and work with the Australian Government to create advanced apprenticeships and short courses in areas of potential future workforce demand.
  - BHP will commit up to $450 million spend in contracts with Australian METS companies and further advancement of this sector. It will work directly and through its major technology providers to source more local products and services, and will invest in technology pilots and emerging businesses.

“As Australia looks to rebuild its economy and provide jobs for the future, the mining industry has an important role to play as Australia’s biggest export earner employing hundreds of thousands of people,” Mr Henry said

“The mining and METS sector is a critical pillar of our economy, and it has never been more important than now.

“Providing apprenticeships, skills and training opportunities for Australians of all ages and all walks of life, particularly in our regional communities, is a commitment we can make to help Australia bounce back.

“These investments will create a pipeline of future talent in highly skilled roles, working in an industry that delivers essential products to the world and generates export dollars that keep the Australian economy strong.”

IMAGE: BHP President Minerals Australia Edgar Basto (centre) with apprentices (L-R) Max Napper, Tom Kase, Catherine Mosie and Milena Andrejic at BHP’s Blackwater mine in Central Queensland.