Amid the COVID-19 pandemic affecting businesses and industries across the globe, BHP is making a move to support jobs by pledging to hire about 1,500 additional people to add to the company’s workforce across its operations in Australia.
The jobs up for grabs will be offered as six-month contracts and will be for a range of skills that are required by BHP operations in the short term.
Roles needed include machinery and production operators, truck and ancillary equipment drivers, excavator operators, diesel mechanics boilermakers, trades assistants, electricians, cleaners and warehousing roles. These jobs will be spread across BHP’s coal, iron ore and copper operations in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.
The jobs are going to be advertised through existing labour hire partners as well as BHP contracts in each state.
For some of these jobs, BHP will look to offer permanent roles after the initial six-month period. The company will also continue to assess this program and will possibly increase the number of job opportunities available.
“As part of BHP’s social distancing measures we are introducing more small teams with critical skills to work dynamically across different shifts.
“The Government has said that resources industry is vital in Australia’s response to the global pandemic. We are stepping up and providing jobs and contracts. Our suppliers, large and small, play a critical role in supporting our operations. It is a tough time for our communities and the economy. We must look out for each other as we manage through this together,” BHP Acting Minerals Australia President Edgar Basto said.
In addition, BHP will also commit $50 million for a Vital Resources Fund that is aimed at supporting regional communities in the company’s area of operations. This funding announcement follows BHP’s commitment to invest $100 million into small, local and Indigenous businesses through the acceleration of payments and reduction of payment terms to seven days instead of 30; as well as its pledge to employ 1,500 people for its Australian operations.
“BHP stands with the regional communities we operate in. With those communities facing significant challenges, we are stepping up in establishing the Vital Resources Fund, which will provide support in a range of areas such as health services and resilience building during this difficult time.
“We know COVID-19 will require a significant collective response from governments, businesses, communities and individuals across Australia. We are determined to play our part as we work through this challenge together,” BHP CEO Mike Henry said.
This spend is going to be focused on the regions surrounding BHP’s operations. This includes the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Roxby Downs and the Upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia as well as the Pilbara and Goldfields regions in Western Australia.
Over the next weeks and months, the company will be working with relevant leaders and groups for the distribution of funds according to local needs and “in a manner aligned with government programs and initiatives”.
This funding commitment is expected to support the following areas:
- Local and regional health networks for critical infrastructure, services and workforces
- Essential community services that keep regions strong
- Community mental health and resilience
- Social partners and community leaders to support rural and remote Indigenous communities
- Over the longer term, working with governments at all levels to increase resources and training available to jobseekers
What are your thoughts on these commitments from BHP. Let us know in the comments section below.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the PlantMiner blog today to stay up to date with the latest industry news and project updates.