partnering stronger communities

fairbridge trainees get a taste of the alcoa life
Alcoa’s long standing partnership with Fairbridge was recently expanded with great success.

Fairbridge is a major youth charity in WA and the only charity in Australia that owns a whole nationally heritage-listed town site. Fairbridge Village was established by Kingsley Fairbridge in 1912.  Mr Fairbridge had a dream to create a nurturing and positive environment for young people to grow.

Today, Fairbridge runs a range of training programs and services for young people – working with children with a disability, young people at risk, young people with drug problems, the unemployed, young people in our justice system, young people who are struggling with life, indigenous young people and refugees, through to gifted young people.

Fairbridge helps young people reach their full potential and bring about long-term positive sustainable change in their lives.

For many years, Fairbridge has been contracted to supply garden maintenance to our Pinjarra Refinery. The organisation uses this contract work to train young people in Environmental Studies.  The Alcoa/ Fairbridge learning experience was expanded late last year to include work at our Marrinup Nursery near Dwellingup WA.

Denis King, Fairbridge Landcare Projects Training Officer, said Fairbridge is constantly on the look out for student placement opportunities.

“Having Marrinup Nursery on board is fantastic. Most students would rarely have the opportunity to work at organisation of this calibre, which has won many prestigious awards and is certified by the Nursery Industry Association.”

Marrinup Nursery has, so far, hosted seven students - three of who have completed their training, while the other four are working towards the completion of their Certificate II/III in Conservation and Land Management.  

Katrina Hill, Fairbridge Environmental Manager and Trainer, said: “Being at Alcoa’s Nursery has given the students a snap shot of what a real life position with a resources organisation would be like.”

“The students have had to show a high level of independence, working alongside the nursery staff, ensuring they become good timekeepers and established a daily routine. They’ve needed to learn to interact with a wide range of Alcoa personnel which is fantastic for their development.”  

Adrian, a student who has recently completed his Certificate II, aspires to work as a Park Ranger for the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). In preparation of achieving his goal, Adrian has commenced work on his Certificate III, with some coverage of the elements in Cert IV, and is following the MATES (Mentored Aboriginal Training and Employment Scheme) program through DEC.  

“Adrian has wonderful interpersonal skills and I feel he has the makings of a great Park Ranger,” Katrina said.

Over the years, Marrinup Nursery has also provided work experience to a number of local High School Students to assist them in completing their Certificate II in Horticulture.

future leaders of industry unearthed in geelong 
A program that aims to encourage students in the Geelong region to consider careers in local industry is underway for another year.

Alcoa’s ‘Future Leaders of Industry’ scholarship program, supported by the Geelong Regional Vocational Education Council (GRVEC), is now in its fifth year - 20 students from nine secondary colleges have been awarded scholarships.

Alcoa’s Point Henry Operations Manager Stewart Esdale said the program was developed on the principle that Geelong industries need to be able to attract, develop, retain and have access to the best employees.

“Alcoa Future Leaders of Industry provides students with an insight into the manufacturing industry, while also helping to raise the profile of manufacturing in the Geelong region.

“The 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 the manufacturing industry,” Mr Esdale said.

Students will participate in a variety of activities including: leadership workshops, tours of companies, a ‘Buddy’ week where participants are paired with an employee at a Geelong company, a communication and work readiness skills training day, a Gordon TAFE tour and activities day focused on manufacturing, and a Deakin University visit to explore training pathways.

Scholarship winners also receive $250, to be held in trust by their school, for education purposes.

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Fairbridge Trainees

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Fairbridge Trainees with Alcoa employees at Marrinup Nursery

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2010 Future Leaders of Industry participants. Scroll down for this story.