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MMG Golden Grove increases Indigenous opportunities in the west

MMG Golden Grove last week commenced its 2010 Bayalgu Indigenous Pre-employment Training Program featuring its first female intake and full-time Indigenous mentor.

Golden Grove General Manager Nick Mosenthal said the program seeks to improve Indigenous representation in employment in Western Australia’s mid-west region while addressing projected skills shortages and resource industry growth.

“The 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,” said Mr Mosenthal.

“The program is also designed to take an industry-responsive approach, adapting to upcoming employment opportunities and local needs,” he said.

Run over 10 weeks, 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.

Mr Mosenthal said participants engaged in a well-rounded cross-section of activities and training.

“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,” he said.

The program is run out of Geraldton and neighbouring areas, and has continued to evolve since it was established in 2006.

“This year MMG Golden Grove is very excited to have its first female participants in the program,” said Mr Mosenthal.

“We believe the Bayalgu program should support workforce diversity. We are confident that female representation within this group will bring added value to the program and better support community needs,” he said.

The first intake for 2010 includes three females and four males.

The program also appointed its first Indigenous mentor Kingsley Bartlett to assist participants through the program.

“We believe that an appropriate mentor is essential to the continual improvement of the program. Our Indigenous mentor Kingsley not only provides a link between trainees, families, employers, supervisors and third party support agencies, but also supports participants in their transition from training to employment,” said Mr Mosenthal.

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.

“We hope the program continues to evolve in the coming years as we develop the skills of local Indigenous Australians, fill inherent skills gaps and support the growth of the resources industry,” he said.

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.

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).

2010 Bayalgu program participants learn how to operate heavy machinery at the MMG Golden Grove underground mine.

(High resolution images available)

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