15 June 2011
Rio Tinto opens Kuttajin Borne training centre to manage increased flow of trainees and apprentices
Rio Tinto has opened a new training centre in Perth to handle the huge increase in apprentices and trainees working in the Pilbara iron ore industry over the next decade.
The Kuttajin Borne centre ("learning tree" in the language of the Noongar traditional owners) will be the principal training base for Rio Tinto's Perth-based and FIFO employees, Perth-based apprentices and remote train operators.
Officially opening the facility today, Training and Workforce Development Minister Peter Collier said the new centre will add to Rio Tinto's capacity to deliver high-quality training to meet its increasing demand for skilled workers.
"Investment in facilities such as this support apprentices to continue to train and learn new skills, while ensuring the industry has enough skilled people to meet its long term needs," the Minister said.
Rio Tinto's president, Pilbara operations Greg Lilleyman said the centre would better position the business in the challenge to attract and retain the best talent available.
"We have more than 750 workers currently in traineeships or apprenticeships, and we have recently realigned our structure to ensure they receive the most relevant education we can provide," he said. "Developing as many of our own people as possible is the ideal way to increase the sustainability and efficiency of our business."
A total of about 4,500 employees and contractors will attend training at the facility in 2011, and this is expected to increases significantly as more facilities come on line.
The centre will provide a wide range of training, including inductions, safety training, apprentice training, leadership and supervisory development, the train controller school and mining operations training.
Kuttajin Borne will cater for the FIFO sites as most employees commute to site via Perth.
Each apprentice will spend the first six months of their apprenticeship at the training centre before they go up to site. Rio Tinto expects to introduce 30 apprentices a year into the iron ore business through the training centre, in line with the greater business focus that will come with managing our own apprenticeship programs.
The training units undertaken at the centre are specifically aligned with our business requirements however a majority of this training is also aligned with nationally recognised training packages that is credited towards training qualifications.
It is our intent to broaden the training available to be able to offer aboriginal focused work ready programs. When the aboriginal work ready programs are operating, it will allow us to tap into the metropolitan aboriginal communities and target training and employment opportunities directly to them. We will also be looking at programs specifically targeting women in non traditional roles.