November 01, 2019

Alcoa apprentices boost local skills

The 2019 Alcoa Western Australian graduating apprentices celebrating at David Gray Arena in Mandurah.

Twenty-three newly qualified tradespeople will provide a skills boost for local industry following the Alcoa apprentice graduation ceremony last week.

The graduates spent four years gaining skills in diverse trades including fabrication, mechanical fitting, electrical instrumentation and heavy-diesel mechanics across Alcoa’s two bauxite mines and three alumina refineries in the Kwinana, Peel and South West regions of Western Australia.

Huntly Bauxite Mine heavy diesel mechanic apprentice Morgan Pederson spoke on behalf of the apprentices saying they were graduating with not only a trade certificate but with pride, confidence, additional abilities and new friendships.

“The last four years have been a rewarding time of learning and growth, becoming more confident as people and in our abilities,” Ms Pederson, of Seville Grove, said.

Kwinana Alumina Refinery mechanical fitter apprentice Verushka Potter spoke about the various support networks that were critical to each of their success.

“The knowledge we’ve gained was an integral part of our journey” Ms Potter, of Cooloongup, said. “Most of this knowledge came from the tradespeople we have worked alongside, who have patiently shared their expertise and for that we are extremely grateful.”

Offering sage advice to others looking to apply for an apprenticeship with Alcoa, the mature-aged apprentice and mother of one urged people of all ages to not hold back.

“You are never too old to learn and you’ll thank yourself later for having the courage to do it,” she said.

Alcoa Apprentice Coordinator Craig Watts congratulated the group, commending the graduates on their hard work.

“The Alcoa apprenticeship program offers a high level of training in a safety focused and diverse environment,” Mr Watts said “To see how they have grown into dynamic and professional workers over the four years is a credit to their hard work.”

Family, friends and colleagues were on hand to congratulate the cohort, where the following outstanding awards were presented:


2019 Apprentice of the Year:                             

Willowdale Mine – John Tostevin, heavy diesel mechanic, from Falcon         

Huntly Mine – Hayden Loffler, heavy diesel mechanic, from Pinjarra                                      

Kwinana Refinery – Rhys Dobson, mechanical fitter, from Waikiki                 

Pinjarra Refinery – Hayden Seamer, mechanical fitter, from Halls Head                                 

Wagerup Refinery – Brodie Stallard, fabricator, from Pinjarra                        


2019 Safety Award:

Kwinana Refinery – Rhys Dobson, mechanical fitter, from Waikiki

Pinjarra Refinery – Ari Stawell, electrical and instrumentation technician, from Falcon

Wagerup Refinery – Kyle Proctor, electrical and instrumentation technician, from Halls Head


Alcoa has a proud history in training generations of skilled workers over the 56 years it has been operating in Australia with more 2,000 apprentices, trainees and graduates being employed.

Alcoa currently has 95 apprentices employed in WA with another 28 set to start in January 2020.

A record 1,986 people applied for the highly sought-after roles this year. With an increasing number of women applying, the company is proud to have 11 talented females among the 28 new recruits.


For more information on Alcoa’s apprenticeship opportunities, visit




Media contact

Cheri Tiglias, Corporate Affairs and Communications Advisor,