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Key industry training program recognised among the best in the world

Published:23 June 2022

A key industry training program delivered by BHP, with CQUniversity Australia as the Queensland-based training partner and North Metropolitan TAFE as the training partner in Western Australia, has been recognised with a prestigious international training award at this year’s World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP).

The BHP FutureFit Academy took home a bronze award as part of the WFCP Awards for Excellence, under the Indigenous Education category, at an awards ceremony held recently in Spain.

The awards recognise leading practices and achievements across global training colleges and polytechnics.

The recognition is a phenomenal achievement as there were more than 100 global nominations for projects within the category.

The BHP FutureFit Academy is a new approach to training with a pathway to a career in maintenance with 'fit for purpose' training programs in dedicated learning centres in Perth, WA or Mackay, QLD.

To date, the BHP FutureFit Academy has welcomed more than 590 students with more than 80 per cent women and more than 20 per cent Indigenous learners. More than 220 students have so far completed a qualification through the Academy.

The Academy attracts more Indigenous individuals into education through the proximity of training centres to local communities, a holistic curriculum specially designed for new to industry learners and employees, and inclusion of sessions dealing with culture, capability and life skills.

This is supported through dedicated training partnerships with CQU and NMTAFE who offer students weekly support sessions with face-to-face interactions, support in literacy and numeracy, Indigenous support and access to library resources.

The training program delivered through the BHP FutureFit Academy provides a choice of two training options that allow students to gain nationally recognised certifications including a Maintenance Traineeship where students complete specific modules to a Certificate II level over a 12-month period.

Upon completion, students are competent and authorised to perform a range of preventative maintenance tasks as a Maintenance Associate.

The program also offers participants a chance to complete a Trade Apprenticeship where they gain a full qualification and the skills to perform preventative maintenance, diagnostics and repairs, specifically in Heavy Diesel Fitting or Mechanical Fitting.

Once trained and qualified, participants go on to a permanent job within BHP’s Operations Services Maintenance team at sites based in Western Australia’s Pilbara and Queensland’s Bowen Basin regions.

BHP’s Head of Learning and Development, Michelle Gibson is immensely proud to see the team recognised for all their hard work and commitment.

“When first establishing the BHP FutureFit Academy, we set out to dream big and think differently. This award is a testament to how far we have come, as a team – both past and present,” Michelle said.

“Our goal was to develop an inclusive learning environment where students and leaders would feel welcomed and supported.

“Two years later, we are seeing greater retention and these results are testament to the strength of the BHP FutureFit Academy’s program and its focus on a supportive culture and developing career pathway.”

CQUniversity’s Deputy Vice-President, TAFE Operations, Peter Heilbuth said he was delighted to see the program recognised at an international level.

“BHP has shown extraordinary leadership in developing this program and in creating new and exciting opportunities for Indigenous trainees and trade apprentices.

“BHP is a valuable industry partner and CQU is very proud to work alongside them as the Queensland-based training partner for the FutureFit Academy," Mr Heilbuth said.

“We look forward to continuing to support BHP and our trainees and apprentices who are part of this wonderful program.”

For more information on the BHB Future Fit Academy please visit bhp.com/careers/get-to-know-our-business/operations-services/bhp-futurefit-academy