VTEC graduates inspire change in Aboriginal communities

Aug 6, 2020

Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) program continues to pave sustainable career pathways for Aboriginal Australians, with the most recent group of graduates commencing employment at Christmas Creek.


Based on the simple but compelling idea of a guaranteed job after successfully completing training, Fortescue’s VTEC program has supported over 900 Aboriginal people gain full-time employment with the Company since the initiative began in 2006.  

Despite ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the latest group of four trainees managed to complete their training and celebrate their graduation with their families and Fortescue team members at a ceremony in Port Hedland.

Participating in VTEC was a lifechanging decision for graduate Desmond Cole, who credits his late father with inspiring him to make a change and step up to become a role model for his family and community.

“I have had many challenges over the years including the recent loss of my father to cancer. However, with the support of my family, I was able to focus on the opportunity that VTEC offered, which has allowed me to learn so much about myself and made me more determined to forge a strong career,” Desmond said.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said, “In line with our ongoing commitment to providing training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people, we have continued to run our VTEC program through the COVID-19 crisis which has resulted in a further 21 Aboriginal trainees securing full-time employment with Fortescue.

“Each and every VTEC graduation is a demonstration of how this pioneering program continues to empower generational change for Aboriginal people, by setting up graduates with lifelong skills that support a sustainable career in the resources sector and beyond,” Ms Gaines said.