STEPS Group Australia and RioTinto Alcan RALPA Programme (SEE Programme)
STEPS Group Australia, a Skills for Education and Employment programme provider, developed the RALPA programme with RioTinto Alcan’s Arnhem Learning Education Regional Training (ALERT) team. RALPA training runs for eight-week intensive blocks, and includes practical job skills development. Training consists of a mixture of class time and real work related activities. Trainees undertake training in areas such as manual handling, Occupational Health and Safety, workplace communication, customer expectations and health, fitness and nutrition. Ralpa is a Yolgnu term meaning ‘get up and get moving'.
The STEPS Skills for Education and Employment trainer is located onsite to facilitate the seamless integration of language, literacy and numeracy training into the RALPA curriculum. The trainer facilitates classroom and workplace literacy and numeracy activities related to daily topics such as workplace safety, measurements, working in a tropical climate, and filling out timesheets.
Trainees also tour local workplaces such as RioTinto Alcan sites, Gove District Hospital and the Nhulunbuy Fire Station. Guest speakers, who have included local businesses, the Department of Health, Westpac and the Nhulunbuy Police, talk with trainees and give practical insights into their business.
Following on from the initial eight weeks of practical job skills development, the trainees undertake an exciting work placement (supported by the ALERT team) for a further eight weeks with the potential to lead to full-time employment. Work placements, which have included activities such as gardening at Gove Country Club and Gove Peninsular Surf Lifesaving Club, occur at the ALERT facility, RioTinto Alcan sites or local community organisations.
Skills for Education and Employment support continues as the trainees move into work placements with RioTinto Alcan mine and Gumatj Corporation. During the placement, trainees further their understanding of workplace documents, workplace instructions, safety alerts and policies, plus communication and numerical requirements.