With a goal of achieving gender equality by 2025 and only 2 per cent females in maintenance roles in 2019, BHP realised it had to approach the workforce gender equation a little differently. The result has been the BHP FutureFit Academy training program – state-of-the-art training centres in Perth and Mackay, with a satellite centre in Newman – that are specifically focused on producing a more diverse core of employees.
The BHP FutureFit Academy concept provides BHP with the opportunity to develop and permanently employ more than 2500 apprentices and trainees over five years, and it is already achieving important diversity outcomes, with more than 83 per cent of people entering the program being women. Completion rates within the program are also above 80 per cent and learners have reported feeling safe, engaged and enabled in perception surveys.
The BHP FutureFit Academy model not only assists BHP in progressing towards its workforce targets but also helps meet whole-of-sector needs, in an environment in which skills pressures are being felt across a variety of industries and there is a strong emphasis on preparing the workforce of tomorrow with skills that will be needed for mining’s future.