GRACEMERE man Dwayne House is one of 41 new apprentices who this week started their training at BMA mines across the Bowen Basin.
Mr House is one of 10 who will be based at Blackwater in one of the company's largest apprentice intakes in many years.
"I've always been interested in being an electrician, so to be able to follow that as a career close to home is a perfect fit for me” Mr House said.
Before they start work at the sites, the apprentices will go through a four-week program at the Coalfield Training Excellence Centre to equip them with the skills required to work at mine sites, with a heavy emphasis on safety.
The apprentices were welcomed with a ceremony at the centre earlier this week.
BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance Asset President, Rag Udd said recruiting locals was crucial.
"For BMA to continue being a valued part of the Central Queensland community, we need to support it and delivering more jobs to the region is one of the important ways we are doing that,” Mr Udd said.
There are apprentices from across the region in this year's cohort, including 15 people from Moranbah, seven from Blackwater, seven from Dysart, seven from the Greater Mackay area and a further five from Central and Northern Queensland.
The number of apprenticeships offered in Central Queensland has more than doubled in two years.
"We have a great mix in this intake of apprentices from school leavers through to experienced workers, Indigenous people, men and women,” Mr Udd said.
"We see them as the future of our business.”
The new cohort will embark on apprenticeships across a range of trades and includes Electricians, Mechanics, Diesel Fitters, Auto-Electricians and Boilermakers.
BMA is partnering with the Queensland Department of Education and Training, CQ University and the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network in the delivery of its apprenticeship program.