Rio Tinto’s iron ore business in Western Australia is continuing to recruit for skilled roles, apprentices, graduates and Aboriginal trainees to fill vacancies as the company progresses its development plans in the Pilbara.

There are more than 300 jobs currently available including skilled operational and maintenance roles such as frontline supervisors, experienced operators of excavators, haul trucks and graders as well as experienced maintenance staff such as heavy diesel fitters. The roles are a mix of fly-in fly-out from Perth and the company’s regional hubs in Western Australia as well as residential positions in Perth and the Pilbara.

Rio Tinto is maintaining its commitment to the development of skills for the future through the hiring of around 160 apprentices, graduates and Aboriginal trainees from the Pilbara, Perth and other regional centres. The 2020 intake of apprentices and graduates is up 25 per cent from last year with gender diversity also significantly increased.

On top of this recruitment effort, the company’s medical provider for COVID-19 screening at Perth Airport has recently hired more than 100 staff including out of work nurses.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said, “Throughout this challenging period we are committed to keeping our people and our communities safe and supporting Western Australians with employment opportunities to help deliver on our plan to invest A$10 billion in the Pilbara over the next three years. This will help ensure we can continue to operate while making a strong contribution to the State and national economies.”

In addition to direct employment opportunities at Rio Tinto, the company remains committed to skills development for current and future workers in the resources industry.

To allow apprentices and trainees to enhance their qualifications, Rio Tinto has committed funding toward the upskilling of out of work apprentices across various industries by covering their fees for a course in automation. This will allow for the enrolment of up to 200 apprentices who have had their apprenticeships suspended or cancelled due to COVID-19.

Commencing in June, successful applicants will complete the recently accredited micro credential Course in Working Effectively in an Automated Environment qualification, which Rio Tinto developed in partnership with South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) and the Western Australian Government last year. SM TAFE is leading plans to double the intake in the future through expansion to regional TAFEs.

SM TAFE Managing Director Terry Durant said, “Working alongside Rio Tinto on this important initiative, SM TAFE will be delivering future-focussed skills to Western Australian apprentices during a critical time in our economic recovery.”

Rio Tinto’s Chris Salisbury said, “We believe this is an important time for Rio Tinto to deliver on skills for those apprentices and trainees whose future employment prospects would benefit from extra training. Our strong partnership with SM TAFE and regional TAFEs in Western Australia will increase the number of apprentices in the State with the skills and knowledge to work in an automated environment, thereby increasing the likelihood of their employment in the resources sector.”