Visit to Cape Lambert Inspires Indigenous Young People

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Indigenous employees at Rio Tinto’s Cape Lambert site have shared their stories with a group of young men who are disengaged from school; inspiring and encouraging them to consider a career in the resources sector.

Participants in the Youth Engagement Program (YEP) visited the iron ore port facility recently, where they had the opportunity to learn about site operations and various Rio Tinto career pathways.

Four Indigenous employees spoke about their personal journeys, and their work on Cape Lambert: Elizabeth (Lizzy) Thompson, Howard Lockyer, Jordan Maher & Khe-San McNamara.

Rio Tinto’s Indigenous Employment Advisor, Carol-Anne Bernard, said the YEP participants could relate to their stories, and by the end were asking lots of questions.

“It was good for the young boys to hear similar stories of people in the community who have successfully transitioned into work,” she said.

“The site tour and the discussions gave them valuable exposure to another opportunity in the resources sector.”

The Indigenous career pathways into Rio Tinto include apprenticeships, the Aboriginal Training and Support pathway, and the Individual Placement and Support Program (IPS), which assists Traditional Owners who are experiencing barriers to employment.

Carol-Anne said she was impressed by the YEP Program.

“It’s great to see REFAP and the government focusing on individuals who are disengaged from school, and who could otherwise have been left out,” she said.

YEP is a 15-week program for young people in Karratha, Roebourne and Onslow. It is run by REFAP with the support of North Regional TAFE and the Department of Education.

REFAP Coordinator, Kyle Bartlett said YEP is specifically designed to reconnect young people of Year 11 and 12 compulsory school age with education and training, and prepare them for the world of work.

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