20 April 2022

Alcoa’s newest apprentices in the driving seat

Driving training 3
An Alcoa apprentice receiving driver instructions on a wet race track.

As part of their detailed induction program, Alcoa’s twenty-five new apprentices have completed a driver safety instruction course to give them the skills and know-how they need to drive safely to and from their work sites and in their everyday lives.

Born out of a recognition that factors such as speed, inattention and fatigue are major contributors to vehicle accidents where people are killed or seriously injured, the driving course gave apprentices the opportunity to test their handling of their own vehicles on a race track in a controlled environment.

Western Australian Operations Apprentice Supervisor Craig Watts said the initiative was the living embodiment of Alcoa’s value to Care for people - where employees are given lifelong skills to help them be safe both at work and in their private lives.

“Safety is our topmost priority at Alcoa and we instil that in our new apprentices from the very beginning of their four years with us,” Craig said.

“During driver training they learn what stop times are required at different speeds, driving to various weather conditions, skid control, fatigue management and car maintenance.

“As part of their intensive induction they also completed three weeks of hand skills training at TAFE where the focus was on safety in the workplace when marking out, doing lathe work and welding.

“We want our people to be mindful of safety all the time – not just during their work hours but on their way to and from site and in their down time.”

Selected from a highly competitive field of 1190 applications, the twenty-five recruits have started work at their allocated work sites with six based at Kwinana Alumina Refinery, eight at Pinjarra Alumina Refinery, six at Wagerup Alumina Refinery, three at Huntly Bauxite Mine and two at Willowdale Bauxite Mine.

Training in the disciplines of Heavy-Duty Mechanics, Mechanical Fitting, Boilermaker, Machinist and Electrical Instrumentation, the group is comprised of 11 women and 14 men.

Alcoa Vice President Operations – Australia Michael Gollschewski said the apprentice program was an important pathway for people wanting to enter the industry.

“We are committed to first-class training and learning on the job in a safety conscious environment,” Michael said.

“Apprentices play an important role in our future and they receive a nationally recognised trade certificate upon successful completion of the program that will hold them in good stead for the rest of their life.”

Alcoa has a proud history and commitment in training generations of skilled tradespeople. We have trained and developed more than 2000 apprentices, trainees and graduates since 1963.

Applications for Alcoa’s 2023 apprentice intake will open towards the middle of the year. For more information on Alcoa’s apprenticeship opportunities visit www.alcoa.com/apprenticeships.