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Rio targets uni to ease skills shortage

Rio Tinto today signed a multi-million dollar partnership with the University of Western Australia in order to boost the supply of experienced graduates into the mining sector.

The partnership is a sign the resources industry is increasingly turning to tertiary establishments to plug the a severe skills shortage in WA.

In a Perth ceremony today, the mining giant announced it would invest $3 million in the university as part of a long-term objective to foster skills for the booming industry.

WA is staring down the barrel of a dangerous skills shortage, with predictions the State needs to find an extra 76,000 workers by 2015.

The program would aim to set up a worldwide network of leading universities to generate an appropriate expertise base for the resources industries by providing support and education to students.

UWA Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson said the agreement would provide enormous benefits to the university.

“This partnership will provide a diverse group of scholars with access to real-life work environments and work experience, and increase the University’s attractiveness to potential students,” Mr Johnson said.

Rio Tinto executive director Sam Walsh said he looked forward to strengthening the relationship with UWA to further enable young people to reach their true potential.

“Aside from further developing our relationship with UWA, this program will increase Rio Tinto’s access to quality graduate and post-graduate students seeking mining industry careers,” Mr Walsh said.

 Reinvent Your Career would like to thank The West where this article first appeared.

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