partnering stronger communities
 
diversity, alcoa and kommercial
As part of Alcoa’s ongoing commitment to diversity, we have been in partnership with Kommercial – an organisation supporting employment for people with a disability – since the 1960s.
 
Through Kommercial, which is an arm of the larger organisation Karingal, Alcoa Point Henry employs people with a disability who look after the site’s mail service and land and gardening care, they provide administrative support, as well as the day-to-day running of the employee canteen (Kommercial Café) on our site.
 
The Kommercial Café, which is partially funded by the Federal Government, was the first of its kind in terms of offering hospitality supported employment to people with disabilities inside an industrial site. 
 
The Café was launched in early 2007 and Alcoa’s Victorian Operations Engineering Manager Warren Sharp said two years down the track, the joint venture between Alcoa, Kommercial, and the Government had proved to be a big success.
 
“Diversity in the workplace makes employees working lives more interesting and rewarding and I’m pleased to say that through our partnership with Kommercial, Alcoa was one of the first industrial sites in Australia to employ people with a disability,” he said.
 
Karingal CEO Daryl Starkey said: “Karingal, and in particular Kommercial, has had a long and successful relationship with Alcoa.  Alcoa has always been very supportive of Karingal.”

“We are continually looking for new and innovative ways to improve the lives of people with disabilities. At the Kommercial Café most of the employees are people with a disability which is another indication that we are leading the way.”
 
Jamie Oliver’s good friend and celebrity chef Tobie Puttock (pictured right) launched the Café at Alcoa Point Henry and said: “It’s great to see people with disabilities working in a kitchen and sharing a love of food. Everyone should have this kind of opportunity available to them.”
 
apprentices kick start their career at alcoa
38 young apprentices have joined Alcoa, over the past month, to kick start their career in industry.
 
Each year, Alcoa of Australia invests approximately $22 million on training, including about $7.5 million on apprentices.
 
“It is absolutely our corporate social responsibility to invest in training and build skills in local communities,” said Managing Director Alan Cransberg.
 
“We spend around 5% of our payroll on training every year, which is significantly higher than the national average.”
 
Ranging in age from 16 through 24, 27 new apprentices will work in our WA Operations while 11 will form part of the team in Victoria.
The WA apprentices will initially work in the maintenance departments and the Alcoa workshops and then rotate through our various sites as they become more proficient in their chosen trades.  This year’s apprentices are working towards becoming Electrical Instrument Fitters, Fitter Machinists, Mechanical Fitters, Auto Mechanics, Fabricators or Carpenters.
 
Our apprentices in Victoria will work towards becoming a Fitter and Turner, progress into the electrical area or become a diesel mechanic. The apprentices based at Point Henry will rotate through all the areas of both the smelter and the rolled products plant, including potrooms, electrode, ingot, hotline, cold rolling, end sheet and also the central workshop.  They may also spend time at the Anglesea Power Station. The apprentices at Portland Aluminium will work at most of the areas of the smelter.
 
“It’s fantastic to see more and more females applying for these apprenticeships and this year two young women form part of our apprenticeship intake,” said Alcoa’s HR Recruitment Consultant Annette Taylor.
 
“We had a total of 482 applicants for this year’s apprentice positions in WA, so the young people selected should feel really proud of themselves.” she said.

Jack Zahra (pictured right), who is part way through his Heavy Duty Diesel Mechanic apprenticeship at the Wagerup Refinery, said: “I’ve been working really hard during my apprenticeship and I’m really lucky to have a good bunch of tradies who will answer any question I come up with.”
 
“When I complete my apprenticeship I would like to stay on at Alcoa if possible and then go into an engine building room at somewhere like Westrac so I can get to know the engines from the inside out,” Jack said.
 
Separately, we also offer traineeships for operator roles on our sites.
 
Jane  Burton, who is an operator trainee at Alcoa’s Pinjarra Refinery in Western Australia, said it was the lure of working outdoors that was behind her decision to apply for the role. Jane has previously managed a supermarket, worked on farms and even been a gym instructor, before finding her niche at Alcoa.
 
“This is quite a different area to go into for me and to learn new things. It’s a big challenge.” Jane said.
 
“I was drawn to the industry because I wasn’t interested in going to university and preferred outdoors type work.”


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L-R: Tobie Puttock, Alcoa's Warren Sharp, Kommercial's Melissa, Senator Nigel Scullion and a Kommercial chef with Leisa, Barry and Annie



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Apprentices kick start their career at Alcoa - scroll down for full story



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Alcoa has trained over 1500 apprentices since the program began



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Each year we invest around $22 million on training



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Alcoa is committed to building skills in local communities



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Jack Zahra was named 2008 Apprentice of the Year for our South-West operations



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2008 Apprentice of the Year (Point Henry) Justin White



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Point Henry apprentices are recognised at the annual Apprentice Awards Evening last year