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Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun invests in apprentices

Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun invests in apprentices

Central Queensland's Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun is addressing skill shortages by investing in apprentices.

If you’re currently on the lookout for apprenticeships in Gladstone, you may want to turn your attention to the alumina refinery located 10km north-west of the city, Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun (RTAY).

This is Rio Tinto Alcan’s first 100 per cent owned and operated alumina refinery which has been in operation since 2004.

The Gladstone Observer reported on July 20 that the company was investing in industry apprenticeships to help tackle skill shortages, with 17 dual trade (electrical and instrumentation) and nine fitting and turning apprentices taken on by the company.

“From my knowledge, RTAY have always employed apprentices right from the start of their operations at the Yarwun refinery,” RTAY trades adviser Jeffrey Hunt said via the Observer.

“Today, a number of permanent employees are tradespeople that have gained their trade qualifications by completing their apprenticeship at RTAY and the majority of these people would be local.”

Mr Hunt adds that it is expensive to employ and train an apprentice, but until employers see the benefits of continually employing apprentices through the “good times and bad” the ongoing skill shortage problem will remain.

RTAY’s markets include Australia, New Zealand, China and the Middle East, with 550 employees counted (as of 2009), most of which are local.

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