Komatsu Australia and Cummins Australia have been spearheading a global initiative by the two companies to invest in technical education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds around Australia, with program launches in Queensland and Western Australian colleges during 2016.
In April 2016, Komatsu Ltd President and CEO Tetsuji Ohashi and Cummins Inc Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger signed a global corporate responsibility partnership agreement to improve communities around the world.
This partnership aims to build on the two companies' already strong business relationship.
Both companies have invested in technical education in their communities including in Australia as social contribution activities and have already partnered in some community projects.
Following this global signing, in December 2016, Komatsu Australia and Cummins Australia signed an agreement for our region, committing both companies to working on plans for Technical Education for Communities (TEC) programs around the country.
The first of these TEC programs had been rolled out earlier in 2016, one at Perth's Clontarf Aboriginal College and two in Brisbane, one at WesTEC College, Springfield and one at YMCA Logan.
The first intake from Clontarf Aboriginal College took place during the final term of 2016, and involved four students being offered opportunities to gain experience at Komatsu and Cummins facilities.
At both WesTEC College and YMCA Logan, in Brisbane's southwestern suburbs, Komatsu and Cummins have contributed to the establishment of Certificate II Automotive Engineering programs.
These coincide with the regular curriculum for the final two years of senior school, and link to the Queensland Government's Queensland Job skills program.
Up to 30 students from disadvantaged background have been participating in each program a total of 60 students across the two institutions.
These programs involve the students attending their usual high schools for four days a week, plus spending a day a week at either WesTEC or YMCA Logan on their Certificate II studies.
These studies include "soft skills" components a combination of interpersonal people skills, social skills, communication skills, career attributes and emotional intelligence that enable people to effectively navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals.
At the end of this process, these students will be in a position to apply for Komatsu Australia's apprenticeship program intakes in 2018 and 2019 although the first student from this region has been employed as a Komatsu apprentice under this program from the beginning of 2017.
Komatsu and Cummins contributed to the establishment of the WesTEC College program through participation in its governance board, providing audits to ensure compliance with industry HSE standards, and assisting in the launch of the Queensland Government's newly launched Jobs Queensland white paper.
Komatsu also hosted a field day at its Sherwood facilities in late August to show WesTEC College students the standards expected of them in industry, as well as highlighting the many career pathways resulting from employment within the company.
In addition, two students from the YMCA Logan program were provided with a week's work experience at Sherwood, allowing them to participate in a variety of workshop activities.
"At Komatsu, we are delighted to be participating in such programs as part of our commitment to our corporate social responsibility and diversity strategy," said Colin Shaw, Komatsu Australia's General Manager, People and Strategy.
"Our aim is to have 120 students participating in this program around Australia by the end of 2017.
"These programs are also a means of ensuring these young people improve their employment readiness and have a pathway to careers in our industry.
"In addition, our commitment to and involvement in these TEC programs are an ideal complement to our work with the Beacon Foundation, which has its focus on educational and employment opportunities as alternatives to welfare for years 7 to 10 students," Colin said.