After eight years in the health sector as a phlebotomist (blood collector), Angel decided to pursue her real passion for mechanics. As a young teenager, Angel was interested in how things worked, an interest which persisted throughout her life.
Learning about BHP’s FutureFit Academy through a friend, Angel decided to apply. The mining company’s training program for new apprentices and trainees, offers roles in their maintenance and production teams. The BHP FutureFit Academy has sites in Perth and Newman, Western Australia, and Mackay, Queensland, and once qualified, graduates can be deployed to BHP mine sites across Australia.
The BUSY Group supports BHP FutureFit Academy learners upon commencement of their training right through to completion and offers mentorship and a regular point of contact throughout. BUSY At Work, a part of The BUSY Group, is one of the largest and longest-serving Australian Apprenticeship Support Network providers.
Sue Loch, Chief Commercial Officer at The BUSY Group, said “BUSY partners with large national organisations in a range of industries. Through a range of apprenticeship, training and recruitment solutions, we support organisations. Many industries are looking to increase diversity in the workplace and employing more women to fill skill needs is proving a viable solution.”
Speaking of her career journey, Angel said, “I’ve always been interested in mechanics, from about the age of fourteen. I really wanted to understand how things worked. For instance, a car or a power tool – why this turns that way and then this happens.
“I thought it would be amazing to become a mechanic, especially as a female, but I was never really given the opportunity. My parents, whose backgrounds are in aviation, kept telling me to keep on trying!
“When I left school, I persisted in applying for roles but never successfully got through. Finally, I was given this opportunity with BHP. So, keep on trying, keep on knocking on the door because persistence pays off!”
“I was the greenest here when I first started, having not worked with tools much before. After eight years in the medical industry, I literally put down the needle and picked up the tools!
“Getting ‘tool fit’, as we call it here, takes some time. I’m quite active normally, I go to the gym three to four times a week. You think you’re fit until you hold a heavy tool over your head for over two or three minutes! It’s a different sort of fit but eventually, yes, you do get tool fit!
“I also didn’t realise how much there was to this role. After I finish this course, I will be able to fix and diagnose anything from big machinery, a truck, or a mobile plant as well. Anything with an engine – so it’s quite mind-blowing!
“I am now seven months in and I still have another eighteen months to go until I am fully qualified. It’s a two-year apprenticeship undertaking a Certificate III in Engineering, Fixed and Mobile Plant. In layman terms, a diesel fitter.
“The learning here has been excellent. It’s full on and challenging, but the resources and the facility are second to none! Especially coming from knowing nothing, the trainers here are excellent and they’re always asking for our feedback so they can improve for future cohorts.
“I always pinch myself when I get up and put my uniform on – I am now finally living my dream!”
At the Mackay BHP FutureFit Academy, Angel is looking forward to being deployed and potentially heading to Western Australia once she is qualified.
Angel’s advice to other women considering a non-traditional career path is, “Know that you are capable and that growth comes with challenge and change. The hardest thing is believing in yourself but there are other people who will believe in you, even if in the beginning you may not yourself.
“Like Martin Luther King said, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Find out more about BHP’s FutureFit Academy.
Find out more about The BUSY Group’s Workforce Planning Solutions.