BHP and the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) will create new training opportunities for up to 1000 Australians in regional areas through a new partnership to help support the country’s economic recovery.
The Future of Work Program will help strengthen economic resilience in regional communities through advanced apprenticeships, skills and short-course training opportunities, targeted to address the specific needs of local workforces and small businesses.
BHP will invest $30 million in the Future of Work Program.
BHP’s President Minerals Australia, Edgar Basto, said: “BHP is supporting a business-led recovery through our ongoing operations and significant investments in regional Australia. We will help Australia bounce back by creating new opportunities for regional jobseekers and economies.
“The advanced apprenticeships and short courses offered by the Future of Work Program will help develop the workforce of the future. Australians will be able to reskill, embrace technology and find new jobs in many sectors, not just mining. We are proud to play our part in helping Australian communities on the road to recovery.”
BHP employs about 45,000 people in Australia, and last financial year delivered more than $A33 billion in value to the national economy.
In October last year, BHP pledged to create 3500 new apprentice and training positions, and boost business opportunities for Australian METS sector companies, with an investment of nearly $800 million over the next five years.
The Future of Work Program will work with relevant organisations and groups to identify local workforce and business needs in regional areas, and tailor training opportunities accordingly.
In doing this, the program will provide opportunities to unemployed, young and Indigenous Australians across Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales to develop skills and better access employment.
It will also help small, medium and Indigenous-run businesses to upskill employees, including skills to work in an increasingly digital environment, and take advantage of new opportunities created through the economic recovery.
The Future of Work Program builds on COVID-19 support provided by BHP to date, including faster payments and reduced payment terms for small suppliers delivering [$80] million in cash flow during the pandemic peak, establishing the $50 million Vital Resources Fund to support regional communities, hiring an additional 1500 people on six-month contracts to support its Australian operations, and creating a $6 million fund to support labour hire companies and their employees.