BMA apprentices sharpen their skills at CQU's Emerald campus

16 March 2023

Developing apprentices’ knowledge and skills, along with awareness of the BHP business and its culture was the focus of the BMA Workplace Readiness Program recently run at CQUniversity’s Emerald Campus.

More than 40 apprentices from across Queensland participated in the five-week program, with support from Site Apprentice Coordinators and mentors.

BMA Apprentices and Trainees Coordinator Greg Zonca said the Work Readiness Program focused on a suite of activities designed to instil BMA’s culture into new apprentices and ensure they all have the fundamental skills and necessary tools to work safely.

“Through this program, the business offers a range of experiences and projects to broaden apprentices’ knowledge of the sector and provide a pipeline of well-rounded apprentices into our business,” Mr Zonca said.

“The program has been contextualised and is sufficiently detailed to ensure BMA apprentices are ready and able to enter work sites and commence with confidence in a safe manner.

“The key components of organisation, engagement and safety are integral parts of this program.”

Apprentices were engaged in theory and practical learning across a range of topics, including BMA culture; charter values and respectful behaviour; risk management; fatigue management, drugs and alcohol and mental health; basic maths, conversions; basic electrical; introduction to metals; use of hand tools; use of handheld power tools; measurement and calculations; drilling; threads and tapping; and basic welding.

“Providing our apprentices with this invaluable development opportunity early in their career enables them to take a leap forward in understanding their chosen trades before they commence on site, allowing them to bring their best to work.”

He said the Work Readiness Program gave apprentices an increased awareness of BHP’s culture and personal safety, while also providing a standardised approach to BMA safety systems and attitude.

Apprentices completed Gryphon Psychology presentations on fatigue management, drugs and alcohol and mental health and learned the correct and safe use of tools and equipment in a workshop environment before starting work..

Mr Zonca said while completing workshop activities, acceptable safety standards were reinforced and apprentices came away with an understanding of the expectations, rights and responsibilities and processes at their sites.

He said the program ensured all BMA apprentices understood they were part of a large organisation and were all able to access mentoring from the start of employment.

It also provided direct interaction with CQUniversity with regards to sign-on, training plans and electronic logbook familiarisations.