October 24, 2023

25 OCTOBER 2023


  • Albemarle launches the company’s first Apprenticeship Program in Australia
  • The four-year program is empowering women to become skilled tradespeople

Albemarle’s inaugural Apprenticeship Program has inspired a new generation of young women eager to pursue careers in high-demand trades.

Five female Albemarle employees were among a group of eight apprentices selected to complete a four-year workplace learning program, in the company’s first ever intake of mechanical and electrical apprentices.

The company has partnered with Registered Training Provider Southwest Regional TAFE to develop structured training plans for apprenticeships in electrical and mechanical fitting, and the group will be supported and guided by mentors including trade-specific leaders and area managers.

Albemarle HR Director Kristy Carter said the program was a significant step in promoting diversity and equality, and helped open doors for more women.

“This first group of female apprentices is now three months into the program,” she said. “They are trailblazers, paving the way for other women to follow in their footsteps.

“The opportunity was offered to existing Albemarle employees first, to reward loyalty and promote greater workplace diversity and a more skilled workforce in non traditional roles.”

Albemarle Training and Apprenticeship Coordinator Matilda Gleave said the program provided practical training and hands-on experience at the company’s world-leading Kemerton Lithium Hydroxide Plant near Bunbury.

“These women previously worked in operational and trade assistant roles in the company,” she said.

“Each one has taken a different pathway to get here, and overseeing this program and their individual progress so far has been extremely rewarding.”

Electrical apprentice Tamika Noonan grew up in Derby and spent nine years in the fitness industry managing gyms before joining Albemarle as an operator initially, after being persuaded by friends to change career paths.

“I grew up in a remote community, so the opportunities there don't come by very often and being an electrician is something I've always wanted to do, it's been on my goal list from the start,” Tamika said.

Fellow electrical apprentice Thayer Rowden said at her high school there were limited opportunities for females to work in trades.

“These industries weren’t really talked about in school, it was just assumed that men would pick those jobs,” she said.

Mechanical apprentice and former operator Astaria Bell originally studied Veterinary Nursing before deciding to follow her passion, and challenge perceptions about women working in “male-dominated” industries.

“The support from my colleagues, both male and female, has been amazing,” Astaria said. “If I could give some advice to females who want to jump start their career in this industry, it would be ‘in order to get to where you’ve never been, you must do something you’ve never done’ - I started with little to no experience and what I have gained in such a short time is worth it.”

In 2024, it is planned to extend the Apprenticeship Program to applicants beyond Albemarle’s existing workforce.

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