Skilling the Pilbara

In collaboration with Rio Tinto and university partners, the PUC has developed a tailored portfolio of higher education courses, delivered in a supported mixed mode to local Pilbara industry employees. The program currently supports 30 employees and includes two industry specific Graduate Certificate courses and a Diploma of Engineering Infrastructure (Rail). In October 2022, this program is expanding with a Cert IV in Leadership and Mentoring course being piloted with 20 Indigenous Rio Tinto employees. For the students undertaking these courses, there are two fundamental components to the study model; one is that the courses are closely aligned with their profession and provide a critical upskilling opportunity, and the other is that they are locally supported by the PUC.

This includes study space and face-to-face administrative and academic support, “bridging the gap” between the students and the universities, helping students to stay connected and engaged. Furthermore, through an appreciation of the unique work and family life challenges of Pilbara students, the PUC advocates for change in course delivery that improves the study experience. Student feedback validates that this bespoke support framework is instrumental in students’ study progression and academic success, as well as affecting broader positive emotional and social outcomes.

Category: Regional, Remote, Rural Partnership Award