Local employment

Local employment

Sharing the benefits

We benefit from the resources of our host countries and the support local communities offer to our operations and teams. It is only right that we share those rewards with the people who enable our success.

One way we can do this is by employing local people. By offering good work to people who need it, we also have a unique opportunity to address the UN Sustainable Development Goal of Decent Work.

To us, sharing benefits through employment goes deeper than just hiring workers from the community. Where local capacity does not meet our requirements, we partner with other organisations to develop skills and work readiness. Investing in local people is important in securing our licence to operate.


Oyu Tolgoi employees underground Oyu Tolgoi employees underground

Think globally, act locally

As an international company with operations worldwide, we work with many different governments. While we tailor our approach to comply with each country's laws and regulations, we are consistent in prioritising local employment and suppliers where possible.

Many of our operations have been connected to families for generations. At the Iron Ore Company of Canada, for instance, some of our current employees are following in their parents' and grandparents' footsteps. Some workers have been with us from the beginning, others are second-generation Rio Tinto employees.

While more than 60 per cent of Australia's mining operations border Indigenous communities, Indigenous people make up only six per cent of the country's mining workforce. As one of the largest private sector employer of Indigenous Australians, we have the capacity to make a positive impact. Steps we are taking include:

  • The Amrun Local and Indigenous Participation Strategy outlines our approach to encouraging a local, Indigenous supply chain and offering work and development opportunities to community members
  • The Western Cape College Partnership focuses on building capacity in the local populations, developing school-to-work pathways and providing quality local education
  • The Gulkula Regional Training Centre in the Northern Territory offers on-the-job learning opportunities at the adjacent (Aboriginal-owned) Gulkula bauxite mine

Partnerships are central to the way we share the value created at the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia. We spent six years negotiating the investment agreement that sets out expectations on issues such as local employment and regional development.


of the workforce at Oyu Tolgoi is Mongolian

Some success but more to do

Our partnership approach is having a positive impact on local employment numbers:

  • At our Weipa bauxite operation in Queensland, 27 per cent of the workforce is Indigenous, and 16 per cent are local Aboriginal people
  • At Oyu Tolgoi, 94 per cent of the workforce is Mongolian, and 20 per cent are from the local Umnogovi province
  • In its first decade, the Western Cape College partnership has brought a 186 per cent increase in the number of senior certificates awarded to Indigenous students

Not all of our projects can show such impressive results. But we are applying our learning from these sites to improve local employment across our operations. We know that creating these opportunities shares value and builds sustainable futures for people in the communities where we operate.