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Nine participants have graduated from Glencore Coal’s 2023 New South Wales Indigenous Employment Pathways Program (IEPP) based in the Hunter Valley.

The purpose of the program is to provide work readiness and training opportunities for Indigenous Australians who live on, or have connection to, the areas in which Glencore Coal operates in the region.

Having completed the 26-week job-readiness training, the nine graduates have secured full-time employment in the region.

Glencore Indigenous Programs Coordinator Carrie Bendeich said the graduates have gained essential job skills and developed a strong foundation for their future careers in the industry.

“This program is designed to create opportunities and inspire Indigenous Australians to reach their career goals,” Carrie said.

“The graduation ceremony marks a significant milestone for our graduates, who are now job-ready and poised for career success.”

IEPP graduate Brianna Duncan said the program has strengthened her confidence and communication skills.

“There’s been a lot of support from everyone I was in the classroom with,” Brianna said.

“My confidence has grown more than I could ever have imagined and now I’ve secured a fulltime role.”

IEPP graduate Adam Gould said the program has changed his life by helping him to secure full-time employment.

“I joined the program for a better start in life – for my family and my children,” Adam said.

“I knew nothing about mining before I got here, now I know safety, teamwork and how to drive a truck. There’s no better job in the world.”

Former NRL premiership winning half-back Scott Prince is the IEPP ambassador, providing guidance and acting as a sounding board for those involved.

“Mining can provide for the community and as these participants have discovered, help establish themselves with a career so they can provide for their own families,” Scott said.

“To see how much they’ve all grown in confidence over the 26-weeks is remarkable. They weren’t overwrought by the challenges they faced, and they supported each other along the way.”

The IEPP is divided into two stages: training and job readiness. These stages include inductions, medicals, life-skills, leadership training, and on-site work experience, offering career opportunities in a range of roles, from operators to warehouse assistants, trades assistants, and bench support.

NSW IEPP Coordinator Nat Conroy said she is incredibly proud of this year’s cohort.

“This isn’t just about a job, it’s a career path; this is life changing,” Nat said.

“I’m so proud of the efforts of our 2023 team, and I can’t wait to see their achievements in the future.”

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