FMG marks VTEC’s 10-year milestone

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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Born from a simple idea to end the cycle of jobless training, Fortescue Metals Group celebrated a milestone last week.

The mining giant celebrated the 10th anniversary of the first graduates of its pioneering Vocational Training and Employment Centre program last Tuesday which has grown from an office in South Hedland to a national network.

FMG founder and chairman Andrew Forrest said it was humbling to see the company’s simple idea get the support of government and grow across the country.

“When we started VTEC at Fortescue, I was determined it would end the cycle of jobless training once and for all and break down the social barriers that prohibit so many Aboriginal people from gaining employment,” he said. “We have since seen hundreds of Aboriginal people develop their skills and seize the opportunities Fortescue’s VTEC has provided them.”

Since the initiative began, 774 Aboriginal people have begun employment with Fortescue, and a further 794 have received driver education and health and literacy support services from VTEC.

Along with the 10-year anniversary, 2017 marks another significant milestone, with the first all-female class to graduate from the program.

FMG chief executive Nev Power said the VTEC program had been at the heart of the company’s approach to Aboriginal engagement for the past decade.

“At Fortescue, we believe in providing people with the opportunity to grow professionally and personally and we know how important it is to provide Aboriginal Australians, both men and women, with sustainable career opportunities so they can build a stronger future for themselves and their communities,” he said.

“We are proud to offer a number of training pathways that align with our longstanding belief that the best way to end Aboriginal disadvantage is by providing opportunity through training and employment.”

The program, which began in 2006, expanded to Roebourne in partnership with the North Regional TAFE in 2010, followed by the Federal Government committing to build a national VTEC network in 2014.

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