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Mining giant offers nationally recognised training in automation

Rio Tinto work meeting
Rio Tinto work meeting

A multinational resources company is spending big to retraining its workforce in how to use automated technology.

Rio Tinto will invest almost $60 million in providing nationally recognised automation training and developing to its existing employees across Western Australia.

12,000 workers affected

Starting from 2021, the proponent will push 12,000 workers to become qualified in critical skills needed for the future through a Resource Industry Collaboration supported by South Metropolitan TAFE, the State Government and Queensland Future Skills Partnership.

Rio is allocating $10M alone for external training programmes and also hopes to maintain a program of about 500 graduate, trainee, apprentice and vacation roles across the business at any one time in the future.

Apprentice intake guaranteed

In the New Year, the proponent will recruit more than 150 people as part of its 2021 graduate intake across the Golden State.

This comes off the back of a recent apprentice intake that hired 30 new recruits, including eight who were redeployed from the Argyle Diamond Mine and five who lost their apprenticeships at other employers due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. About 30 per cent of them are female and more than half identify as Indigenous Australians.

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“When Rio Tinto and the WA Government developed the automation qualifications in partnership with South Metropolitan TAFE, we had aspirations that they would be picked up across Australia and be used to build the capability of not only our existing workforce, who are working in an increasingly technology enabled environment but also the broader Australian workforce,” Rio vice president human resources – iron ore Scott Browne said in a public statement.

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