our people
students experience alcoa in wa
Year 10 students from the Peel and South-West regions have been given an up-close look at resources careers, as part of Alcoa’s successful Future Women of Industry (FWOI) scholarship program.

FWOI, now in its 11th year, aims to assist, mentor and educate enthusiastic young women and provide guidance on where their future careers could take them.

49 girls from 24 schools around Kwinana, Rockingham, Pinjarra, Mandurah, Harvey, Waroona and Bunbury took part this year.

Over three consecutive days, the students participated in tours of our operations, one-on-one buddy sessions with Alcoa employees, listened to presentations from Perth Universities, learned about opportunities for traineeships, apprenticeships and work experience at Alcoa, and learned how to prepare and present for job interviews.

WA Operations Human Resources Manager, Carl Phillips, said: “The scholarships have a unique emphasis on opening doors to the mining and refining industries which are not always the first choice for young women when deciding on careers. 

“Future Women of Industry establishes networks and provides opportunities for young women to immerse themselves with peers in an intensive program to give direct experience in the mining industry. 

“What makes the program so successful is its determination to break the mould on what is seen traditionally as ‘men’s’ or ‘women’s’ roles. 
“Almost any career in the mining industry from operators, trades persons, laboratory technician or engineers– is open to any person and we actively support and encourage young women who have an interest and enthusiasm for a career within Alcoa.”

The success of the program has been demonstrated by former scholarship participants going on to become Alcoa apprentices and trainees, tradespersons and professionals.

The FWOI scholarship program forms part of Alcoa’s commitment to diversify its workforce. Currently 20 percent of managers at Alcoa are women, up from only 3 per cent a decade ago. We are committed to increasing that figure.

“Diversity in our people and thought is fundamental to getting the best ideas and outcomes for our workforce, our business and our community,” Carl said.

Some feedback from past FWOI participants:
  • "You'll meet heaps of great women, learn heaps and open up many career opportunities you didn't think existed!
  • "I would consider working for Alcoa a lot more than I had previously, because I learnt that they actually do quite a bit for the environment; contradicting my original thoughts."
  • "This program showed me that Alcoa is very accepting of women in the workforce."
  • "Life-changing. It was unbelievable to see all the different things Alcoa does. It really has inspired me."
  • "I was really amazed at how large Alcoa is, how friendly the employees are and how carefully the energy consumption/greenhouse gas emissions are monitored and reduced." 
  • "One of the best experiences of my life, it really opens your eyes to reality and how large and important Alcoa is."
  • "The women we spoke to sounded very passionate and Alcoa seems like a great environment to work in."
Some comments from parents and teachers:
  • "Congratulations for offering such a worthwhile program that enables girls to experience different employment options."
  • "I think the whole idea is brilliant. More students need to be encouraged to do the program."
  • "I would recommend this program to any female who has dreams and goals as it certainly helped my daughter realise she is more than capable of achieving great heights."
  • "The program is a fantastic initiative. My daughter has now been exposed to many employment opportunities that she had not previously considered"

creating future leaders of industry in victoria
The 2009 Alcoa Future Leaders of Industry scholarship program was launched this month, recognising 25 of Geelong’s up-and-coming manufacturing stars.

Year 9 and 10 students from 14 Geelong secondary schools have been inducted into the 2009 Alcoa Future Leaders of Industry program, which aims to attract students to the manufacturing industry and provide them with the opportunity to study the industry through a structured six-month program.  
Future Leaders of Industry is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Geelong Regional Vocational Education Council (GRVEC) and the Geelong Manufacturing Council.

Alcoa Point Henry Acting Smelter Operations Manager, Charlie Adornetto, said the program offers students an insight into the manufacturing industry, while also helping to increase awareness of the benefits of manufacturing in the Geelong region.

“This program is designed to encourage young people to consider a career in manufacturing and follow a study path which could lead to employment opportunities in our industry in the future,” Charlie said.

The students will be involved in a variety of activities over the next six months including a work placement, a leadership workshop, tours of supporting companies, a “Buddy Day” where participants are paired up with an employee at one of the supporting companies, a communication skills training day and a university/ TAFE visit to explore training pathways.

“These scholarships demonstrate a real commitment by the Geelong manufacturing industry to provide further education and training opportunities to local young people.  By keeping young people engaged in further education and training, and helping them to develop skills attractive to employers, we are building our community capacity and social capital,” Charlie said.

GRVEC’s Executive Officer, Lynne Clarke, said the program was part of the Federal Government’s Career Advice Australia initiative which is designed to encourage students to explore career pathway information and understand manufacturing employment opportunities in the Geelong region.

“We applaud the support of our local manufacturers in preparing young people for life beyond school”, Ms Clarke said.

Alcoa, GRVEC and the Geelong Manufacturing Council acknowledge the 15 local businesses who are supporting the 2009 Alcoa Future Leaders of Industry program - AGB Group, GD Manufacturing Engineers, Uptime Services Pty Ltd, Air Radiators Pty Ltd, LionDellBasell Australia Pty Ltd, Kempe International, Lakis Engineering Pty Ltd, Reid Engineering, ICD Asia Pacific, Industrial Control Technology (ICT), Jeff Sykes & Associates, Kinetic Engineering Services, Modern Olives, Worley Parsons and Wathaurong Glass and Arts PTY LTD.

21 alcoa trainees graduate
At Alcoa, we are committed to educating and training and building skills in local communities.  We invest around $22 million on training each year, with 5 per cent of our payroll spent on training – double the national average of 2.5 per cent.

Alcoa’s program aims to improve employment prospects and widen career options, with our locations supporting local young people for 12 months or longer.  Our programs are nationally accredited and provide off-the-job training as well as a Certificate of Attainment. 

Recently, 14 refining and 7 mining trainees in Western Australia graduated from our program after completing a National Accreditation Certificate in either Refining: Certificate III Process Plant Operations or Mining: Certificate II Metalliferous Mining - Open Cut.

All the Trainees achieved their qualifications within the allocated 12 and 18 months period – a testament to their hard work, commitment and drive to succeed.

Manager of Mines, Bill Knight, congratulated the trainees and presented each of them with their TAFE Certificates at the new Alcoa Discovery Centre (tour centre) in Pinjarra.

All graduates benefit from increased employment opportunities, further education and training prospects as well as having paid employment for the duration of the program.

return to front page

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.