BHP is partnering with Child Australia to fund the Thriving Futures Academy work-readiness program focused on creating and nurturing a sustainable early learning educator workforce in Port Hedland and Newman.

Building on the success of the Thriving Futures project, the Academy provides candidates with an intensive 12-week immersion experience into the early learning sector.

Following successful completion of the program, Academy graduates will be offered full scholarships to obtain the skills and qualifications alongside their career in early learning in a participating centre in Port Hedland or Newman.

BHP WA Manager Communities, Chris Cottier, said, “As a regional employer we recognise the importance of early years education across the Pilbara. The Academy will provide career entrants with a pathway to engage in a challenging and rewarding career, and it will create a sustainable, qualified workforce.

“And more importantly, it will allow more families to access quality childcare in Port Hedland and Newman for years to come,” Chris explained.

The Academy is open to all applicants, specifically encouraging the Indigenous community, school leavers, parents re-entering the workforce, and mature-age workers looking to reinvigorate their careers.

Child Australia’s CEO Ms Tina Holtom said, “The Academy immersion experience is about empowering those interested in establishing their career in the early years. Working with children in their early years is possibly one of the most rewarding careers, but it requires a high level of commitment and passion.

“The educator role is multi-faceted and critically important, so it is essential that we nurture candidates right from the start, to be their absolute best when working with children and families,” Tina explained.