Aboriginal graduates ready for mining industry

May 10, 2019

Eight Aboriginal students at TAFE SA’s Port Augusta Campus graduated from a tailored training program designed to deliver job-ready workers for the mining industry.   

The program, a joint initiative between the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation and TAFE SA’s Aboriginal Access Centre (AAC), was developed in 2017 to provide career opportunities for Aboriginal employment at Carrapateena Mine in the state’s far north region. 

Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation, Chairperson, Mr Chris Larkin, said Kokatha had a close working relationship with the mine operators, Oz Minerals.

“Kokatha are the traditional owners of this country. We work closely with Oz Minerals so that our community can benefit from employment and business opportunities,” Mr Larkin said.

“The training program has provided skills and opportunities for local Aboriginal people and was designed by TAFE SA’s AAC to bring about generational change to deliver prosperity to our people,” he said.

“There is a commitment to excellence from the program partners and that has transferred to the students who know they are part of a bigger picture,” Mr Larkin said.

TAFE SA Aboriginal Access Centre Director, Marg Mibus, said the program has been successful because it looked at the needs of industry and students, and designed a program to fit both.

“The first course in 2017 had four graduates employed, in 2018 nine students graduated with many gaining full-time employment and from this current intake eight graduates will all be offered employment,” Ms Mibus said.

The training covered subjects including managing finances, hospitality, cleaning operations, First Aid and a White Card. Students also visited the mine where they spent three days on-site working in the roles in which they will be employed.

ISS Facility Services, National General Manager Employment and Communities, Scott Wilson, said “ISS is delighted to facilitate this training-to-employment loop for Aboriginal people and provide real career pathways within our contracts.”

“Graduates will enjoy working for ISS at Carrapateena where their skills and experience will be further developed.”

The graduation ceremony was held at TAFE SA Port Augusta Campus on Thursday, 2 May 2019.