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BHP Australian apprenticeship pledge
(Posted on 02/10/20)
BHP CEO Mike Henry has announced BHP’s commitment to training and 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.
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 nearly $800 million package announced comprises three key elements to be deployed over the next five years:
An increase of 2,500 apprenticeships and traineeships through the BHP FutureFit Academy, established earlier this year, with associated spend of $300 million.
A further 1,000 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.
Mr Henry said: “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.”
“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.”
BHP employs approximately 45,000 people in Australia, and in the 2020 financial year contributed approximately $33.4 billion in economic value through jobs, suppliers, taxes, royalties and community investments.
BHP accelerated payments and reduced payment terms for small suppliers during the peak of the pandemic, hired an additional 1500 people on temporary contracts to support its Australian operations, created a $6 million fund to support labour hire companies and their employees, and established the $50 million Vital Resources Fund to support regional communities.
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