Rio Tinto Yarwun shift controller Kris Jeffery started his career as a trainee in 2004.
Rio Tinto Yarwun shift controller Kris Jeffery started his career as a trainee in 2004. Alicia Newport

JOBS FOR LOCALS: Industry launches popular trainee program

A TRAINEESHIP that kickstarts industry careers in Gladstone is encouraging anyone from hairdressers to chefs or landscapers to apply now.

Alumina refinery Rio Tinto Yarwun has opened applications for its 2018 process technician trainee program.

Kris Jeffery, who was hired as a trainee when the program started in 2004, learnt quickly the career was for people from all backgrounds.

"The best thing about the Yarwun refinery is that it has a diverse workforce so you are always meeting interesting people," he said.

"My trainee mentor and coach was a Korean judo champion."

Thirteen years later Mr Jeffrey is a shift controller responsible for coordinating the operations of the refinery safely and efficiently.

"Working at an alumina refinery was daunting at first but the structured program meant that we learnt all about the equipment and production process."

"I would say to anyone interested to give it a try. If you prove yourself, the career opportunities are endless."

A Certificate III in Process Plant Operations will be awarded to trainees at the successful completion of the fixed term 18-month program.

Rio Tinto Yarwun operations general manager Colin McGibbon said the program created career opportunities for Gladstone residents.

"Our process technicians include former chefs, hairdressers, business owners and landscapers," he said.

"We value diversity and understand that different experiences and skill sets can only enhance the refinery. I would encourage people from all backgrounds to apply."

Applicants need to show experience working in a team environment, a willingness to learn and problem solve, and have a minimum of Year 10 or equivalent secondary education.

Applications close on December 29. For more information and to apply, go to