Seven Indigenous youth from Western Australia’s mid-west region are ready to enter the workforce after completing the Bayalgu Indigenous Pre-employment Training Program last week, run by MMG Golden Grove.
Run over 10 weeks, the program seeks to improve Indigenous representation in employment in the mid-west region while addressing projected skills shortages and resource industry growth.
It was also the first time females took part in the program and had the guidance of an Indigenous mentor.
Golden Grove General Manager Mr Nick Mosenthal believes the program is an important development tool for local Indigenous youth.
“The Bayalgu program plays a valuable role in providing Indigenous Australians with a range of entry-level work readiness skills and competencies to enter the resources, civil construction and associated service industries,” he said.
The program is open to 18-25 year old Indigenous Australians and features a number of training activities leading to a Certificate II in Resource and Infrastructure and forklift and elevated work platform licences.
“The program takes a holistic approach and includes safety awareness training, small machine operation, a live work road construction project, an industry work placement, and job preparation activities including resume, cover letter and interview training,” said Mr Mosenthal.
Current graduates undertook work placements at the Golden Grove mine in the engineering, environment and community relations, geology, village maintenance and mining work areas.
Mr Mosenthal said he was extremely pleased to have females represented in the cohort for the first time.
“The female participants brought diversity to the team dynamic and demonstrated that they were equally capable as their male counterparts,” he said.
Mr Mosenthal said that MMG Golden Grove was also very excited to have Indigenous mentor Kingsley Bartlett on board to guide participants through the program.
“Kingsley has been a welcome addition to the program, building strong relationships with participants, providing solid coaching and helping participants explore employment opportunities,” he said.
Three of the seven graduates have already secured employment only a week after the program concluded.
MMG Golden Grove supports participants to secure and retain long-term employment for up to 18 months following completion of the course.
“MMG Golden Grove is incredibly proud of the Bayalgu program’s success to date, with approximately 80% of trainees securing employment upon completion,” said Mr Mosenthal.
One such graduate is Derrick Cameron who is looking forward to commencing a traineeship at Golden Grove this week.
“I am really grateful to have been a part of the Bayalgu program as I was previously unemployed,” said Mr Cameron.
“I’ve also been lucky enough to have been accepted into a one-year full-time traineeship as a mill operator at Golden Grove,” he said.
During his traineeship, Derrick Cameron will be assigned a mentor to train him across various areas of the mill, with a view to full-time employment upon successful completion.
Fellow program graduate Emma Dick said that the program taught her many other valuable skills.
“In addition to the technical skills I learned, the program also helped me improve my communication skills and ability to work in a team,” said Ms Dick.
“I would certainly recommend the Bayalgu program to other Indigenous Australians because it’s a fun way to get your foot in the door to a career,” she said.
The Bayalgu program is run out of Geraldton and neighbouring areas, and has continued to evolve since it was established in 2006.
The Bayalgu Indigenous Pre-employment Training Program is delivered in partnership with Central Earthmoving, Central West College of TAFE, Clontarf Foundation Midwest Football Academy, Geraldton Senior College, Main Roads WA (Midwest Region), Mission Australia, Salvation Army Employment Plus, Skill Hire, TME Group, WesTrac, Wila Gutharra Community Aboriginal Corporation, the Department of Industry and Resources (Office of Aboriginal Economic Development) and with the assistance of the Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations’ (DEEWR) Structured Training and Employment Program (STEP) funding contract.
Bayalgu program participant Emma Dick gathers her personal protective equipment in preparation for training.
Bayalgu program participant Derrick Cameron undertakes a fire extinguisher exercise.
Participants of the 2010 Bayalgu Indigenous Pre-employment Training Program with MMG Golden Grove General Manager Nick Mosenthal (left), Indigenous mentor Kingsley Bartlett (second from left) and Program Coordinator Clint Henderson (right).
Participants of the 2010 Bayalgu Indigenous Pre-employment Training Program with Indigenous mentor Kingsley Bartlett (top row, second from right).
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