Fortescue Metals Group won the Indigenous Employment and Retention Award for its training program, Fortescue’s Trade Up at the 2016 AMMA National Conference held in Perth last week.Established to provide sustainable career development opportunities for the company’s Aboriginal workforce, Fortescue’s Trade Up was launched in September 2015. Currently, 38 participants are completing the training, which is an accredited pathway to an apprenticeship.Chief Executive Officer, Nev Power, said Fortescue recognised the need to further develop career progression opportunities for its Aboriginal workforce.“By giving our Aboriginal team members the chance to work towards a trade qualification while on the job, Fortescue’s Trade Up is creating long term career pathways and, ultimately, changing lives. We are especially proud that 21 per cent of the current trainees are women,” Power said.Accepting the award on behalf of the company, Group Manager Fortescue People, Linda O’Farrell said it is very rewarding to see and celebrate the successes of this program. “We are incredibly proud of the Trade Up trainees, many of whom have progressed on to their formal apprenticeship.“The trainees’ achievements are shared with our contracting partners. The commitment of Downer, Goodline, Thiess, ICRG, GUMA, DVG and EGWYC has contributed to the success and sustainability of the program,” Ms O’Farrell said.Fortescue’s Trade Up includes a Certificate II level traineeship in the desired trade. Participants are trained while at work by qualified tradespeople and receive regular intensive skills training either on the job or at the Apprentice and Trainee Trade Training Centre located at Fortescue’s Cloudbreak mine site.The company’s training partner, South Regional TAFE, provides onsite training and competency reviews and assessment services, as well as Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy support and development.Picture shows CEO, Nev Power and Hon. Liza Mary Harvey MLA Deputy Premier; Minister for Police; Road Safety; Training and Workforce Development; Women’s Interests with Trade Up trainees at the launch of Fortescue’s Trade Up.