Building career pathways in the Pilbara

Published on Tuesday, 06 October 2020
Last updated on Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Article hero image

Early childhood services often struggle to attract and retain staff in regional and remote areas, which can reduce educational opportunities for children in the preschool years.

In an effort to level out the playing-field for children in these areas, BHP and not-for-profit Child Australia, have partnered to build a sustainable pipeline of professional talent under the Thriving Futures project.

Thriving Futures will develop career pathways for the Pilbara workforce into early childhood education and care, and hopefully provide more opportunities for local children to be engaged in high quality early learning.

Funded by BHP and under the guidance of Child Australia, which has experience providing early childhood services in regional communities, the partnership aims to:

  • increase the number of qualified educators in the region who have access to career development pathways
  • increase the number of people seeking to establish a career with early learning services
  • develop a co-ordinated approach to continuing professional development
  • improve business practices, workplace relationships, stability of the workforce
  • increase the number of children engaged in high quality early learning

Scholarships will be offered to assist eligible candidates in the Pilbara region to obtain the skills and qualifications required to begin a career in early childhood education and care. The local recruitment strategy will encourage the indigenous community and workplace programs, school leavers, parents re-entering the workforce, and mature-age workers looking to reinvigorate their careers.

BHP WA Manager Communities Chris Cottier said development of a regular, familiar and consistent early childhood workforce in the Pilbara would provide continuity to both children and families.

Early childhood education equips children with the skills and capacity to be effective and engaged learners through to school and beyond, so this project will deliver add-on benefits in the Pilbara region for years to come.

Child Australia CEO Ms Tina Holtom said her organisation has a long history of working in the Pilbara and Thriving Futures will help to build sustainable practices that improve developmental outcomes for children.

A career supporting children in their early years is incredibly rewarding on many levels. There are very few professions where your impact can help to shape and nurture the future of generations of children.

COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated the importance of this essential workforce and the critical role this sector continues to play in economic recovery. There has never been a greater time to be an early childhood educator.

Visit the Thriving Futures website to learn more about this project.

Related Articles

Article image

Resources to support fair pay for fair work

Legal obligations for early education employers when it comes to paying staff what they are owed.

Article image

How to talk more to babies and why you should

Children in ECECs would seemingly have more opportunity to hear language than children in home environments, simply by virtue of the fact there are more people around them for more of the time.

Article image

Changes to the NQS Less red tape & fewer elements

Changes to the National Quality Framework following a review of the National Partnership Agreement on the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care that began in 2014.