BHP has unveiled a new FutureFit Academy in Perth, Western Australia, as part of the company’s commitment to create 2,500 new traineeships and apprenticeships nationally over five years and build the skills needed for modern mining.

Launched in 2020, the BHP FutureFit Academy offers paid training pathways into the mining industry for those without previous mining experience, at any stage of their career. To date, more than 1100 people have joined the FutureFit program and more than 500 have graduated with qualifications and a guaranteed job with BHP.

“Minerals and mining are critical to Australia’s economy and the global energy transition,” said BHP President Australia Geraldine Slattery. “We have an enormous opportunity but also challenges to overcome to keep competing in the global arena, among them the need to build the skills needed in a modern mining sector.”

Through its two academies in Western Australia and Mackay in Central Queensland, the BHP FutureFit Academy is creating 2,500 new traineeships and apprenticeships over five years, with entrants joining BHP in permanent roles upon graduation.

The purpose-built learning academies feature the immersive virtual reality (VR) technology combined with workshop learning to develop skills and knowledge. They are fully equipped to simulate the workplace, including disability access and parent and prayer rooms.

“Through an innovative approach to training and employment, we’ve opened the door to a more diverse talent pool, especially people from non-mining backgrounds who want to reskill or pursue a new career,” Slattery said.  “Our new BHP FutureFit Academy in Perth will provide an even better learning experience for the next wave of Australia’s tradespeople, technicians and maintenance professionals.”

The new BHP FutureFit Academy in Forrestfield is more than double the size of its predecessor in Welshpool, with an additional 110,000 square metres of workshop space and capacity for many more students.

Forrestfield also offers expanded curriculum, including high-risk work licensing, maintenance associate and trade programs in auto electrical, fabrication mechanical fitting and heavy diesel, and is now delivering the apprentice program for BHP’s Western Australia Iron Ore and Nickel West operations.