Rio Tinto investing in skills development

Rio Tinto will invest almost A$60 million in training and development in Western Australian in 2021 as part of its broader commitment to support the development of critical skills needed by the mining industry into the future.

By early next year, Rio Tinto will begin recruiting over 150 people as part of its 2021 intake of graduates, apprentices, trainees and vacation students in Western Australia. Rio Tinto also recently completed its second round of apprentice intake for 2020 with a total of 30 people hired, including five who had lost their apprenticeships with other organisations due to COVID-19

and eight redeployments from the company’s Argyle diamond mine. Of those 30, one-third are female and more than half are Indigenous.

In addition to this recruitment campaign, Rio Tinto also expects to spend more than A$10 million on external training programmes in Western Australia next year in addition to its in-house learning and development activities that provide extensive training for the company’s 12,000-strong workforce in the State. Rio Tinto aims to maintain a programme of around 500 development roles (graduates, trainees, apprentices and vacation students) within the business at any one time in the future.

Rio Tinto Vice President Human Resources – Iron Ore, Scott Browne outlines:

“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 across a range of sectors."

“TAFE plays a vital role in upskilling across Australian industry, and we see enormous potential for this national collaborative effort to enhance the preparedness of the local workforce to drive economic growth and be ready for the future of industry across Australia.”

Training Centre) led by North Metropolitan TAFE will see a Certificate IV Electrical Rail Signalling offered in Western Australia for the first time in 2021. The course is currently only offered in Queensland and Victoria.As well as its partnership with South Metropolitan TAFE, Rio Tinto is currently working with North Metropolitan TAFE (NM TAFE) to help address a critical skills shortage in the rail industry in Western Australia. Rio Tinto’s working partnership with WA’s Rail Operators and the State Government on Signalling Training (the centrepiece of the METRONET Trade Training Centre) led by North Metropolitan TAFE will see a Certificate IV Electrical Rail Signalling offered in Western Australia for the first time in 2021. The course is currently only offered in Queensland and Victoria.

Access the full media release here.

Image source - Rio Tinto