Port hits intake target as Indigenous workers fill vital roles

Acting premier Curtis Pitt views the employees' artwork with trainees Allen Craigie, Nicole Smith, Breanna Beezley, Dylan Cooling and Jessica Johnson.
Acting premier Curtis Pitt views the employees' artwork with trainees Allen Craigie, Nicole Smith, Breanna Beezley, Dylan Cooling and Jessica Johnson. Mike Richards GLA

The Gladstone Ports Corporation has hit an important target as it embraces the local and indigenous workforce.

Four years ago the ports corporation aimed to have 3.6% of its workforce represented by Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian South Sea Islander workforce.

This has also been driven by the ports' apprentice trainee strategy with 25% of its 64 apprentices identifying themselves as indigenous.

Five of those trainees will complete an Australian-first qualification in cross industry operations, and one will complete a trainee in occupation health and safety over the next 18 months.

The trainees will gain experience in warehousing, marine operations, administration, parks and recreation, safety and building trades.

Twenty-two-year-old Nicole Smith has just started in the program, working in the warehouse.

"I love it,” she said. "The people are friendly and everyone has made me feel welcome.

"They have put in a lot of work to get us going and you can see it really matters to them by the way the people in the port treat us.”

Her and five other trainees - Dylan Cooling, Tre' Granzien, Allen Craigie, Jessica Johnson and Breanna Beezley - met with the ports key shareholder Queensland acting premier Curtis Pitt to celebrate the milestone.

Gladstone Ports Corporation chief executive officer Peter O'Sullivan said as part of the the trainee induction they had cultural classes.

At the function at East Shores the group presented an special indigenous artwork they painted during the course.

It will be hung in the administration of RG Coal Terminal.

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