Rio Tinto, TAFE and the WA State Government join forces for mining jobs of the future

20 October 2017

Rio Tinto is working with the Western Australian Government and South Metropolitan TAFE to pioneer a new curriculum required for the mining industry’s jobs of the future. Rio Tinto and South Metropolitan TAFE will prepare Western Australians for opportunities created by advances in technology and innovation.

Announcing a provision of up to $2 million towards the Vocational Education and Training (VET) initiative, Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said investing in education and training is essential to keep pace with rapid advances in the mining industry.

"We are generating opportunities for our current and future workforce to gain skills and competencies for smart mining. The new curriculum will enhance the capability of those in the mining sector and form part of the learning pathways for those seeking to enter a range of industries applying automation and technology.

"By working with South Metropolitan TAFE and the State Government, we will deliver the courses that will prepare young West Australians for the jobs of the future. These courses will likely be in areas including robotics, data analytics and digital inclusion education."

Rio Tinto believes, it is now more important than ever, to strengthen vocational education and training for the jobs of the future as new technologies and innovation transform industries across the state and the country. The curriculum development is proposed to be completed by the end of 2018 and we hope will be delivered through a range of new industry traineeships and post-secondary courses envisaged to commence by 2019.

"As pioneers in innovation, Rio Tinto is proud to be working with the Western Australian Government and South Metropolitan TAFE on this important skilling and education initiative.

"As a proud employer of choice in Western Australia, we recognise that our vision to strengthen educational pathways represents an investment in training and education options for all Western Australians. The demand for people educated in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics will continue to grow.

"I invite my industry partners, who are also investing in automation technology, to join us in this collaborative education initiative as the State economy continues to diversify," Chris said.

Notes to editors

Over the past six years Rio Tinto has employed more than 600 apprentices and close to 650 graduates.

In 2018, Rio Tinto will recruit over 160 new graduates, vacation students, apprentices and trainees in Western Australia.

Rio Tinto’s commitment to education and training is an extension of our existing support for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pathways to secondary schools where we have partnered with The University of Western Australia, SciTech, Murdoch University and The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation.