BMA welcomed 56 new apprentices from across Queensland yesterday.
BMA welcomed 56 new apprentices from across Queensland yesterday.

Rocky girl joins mega BMA apprentice intake

RHIANNA Whouley was one of 56 new apprentices to pick up the tools for BHP Mitsubishi Alliance in one of the company’s largest intakes of local apprentices in a number of years.

The Rockhampton woman has began an apprenticeship as a diesel fitter at BMA’s Blackwater mine.

“My apprenticeship is a great opportunity to grow because there are just so many career pathways at BMA,” Ms Whouley said.

“I am excited to see what my future holds and where it leads me.”

Ms Whouley launched her career with BMA at a ceremony at the Coalfield Training Excellence Centre in Moranbah, along with four other apprentices from Rockhampton, 12 from Moranbah, 12 from greater Mackay, four from Blackwater, four from Dysart and a further seven from Central and North Queensland.

BMA asset president, James Palmer, said it was crucial that BMA’s workforce was constructed from a solid foundation of local people.

He was thrilled 56 new apprentices had started at mines across the Bowen Basin.

“For BMA to continue being a valued part of Central Queensland we need to ensure it has successful, sustainable and vibrant communities, and our apprenticeship program is one of the key ways that we are investing in this region’s future,” Mr Palmer said.

“We have a fantastic group of apprentices joining us this year, from school leavers through to experienced workers, indigenous people, men and women.

“We see them as a cornerstone of our business.”

There is a variety of trades represented in the new cohort including electricians, diesel fitters, auto-electricians, mechanical fitters and boilermakers.

The apprentices completed a six-week work readiness program at the Coalfield Training Excellence Centre prior to commencing at mines throughout the Bowen Basin yesterday.

The program equipped them with the skills required to work at mine sites, with a heavy emphasis on safety.

BMA is partnering with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, CQUniversity and the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network in the delivery of its apprenticeship program.