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Youth driving program a roaring success

Fifty-four young West Aussies have graduated from the McGovern Foundation’s Wanderer Program – armed with their P plates and opportunities on the horizon.

Video caption: We recently invited Wanderer Program participants to experience a Tesla racetrack experience, thanks to TOCEVA. As passengers in an electric vehicle driven by a rally car driver, they got to experience the thrill of high-speeds and learn more about the benefits of electric vehicles and the importance of lithium – the key material used in the rechargeable batteries that run electric vehicles. Mineral Resources is one of the top five lithium producers in the world.

Mineral Resources is proud to be the Founding Partner of the program which provides young people, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, with the support and resources to complete the 50 supervised driving hours they need to get their P plates.

More than just a driving program, the trained mentors work with participants to ensure they have the support they need to take their next step after they get their P plates. This includes providing advice on employment opportunities, budgeting and how to purchase a car.

Mineral Resources General Manager Communications, Kristy McGrath said people that don’t have a driver’s licence can face barriers to employment.

“For young people that don’t have access to a vehicle or can’t afford expensive driving lessons, it can be really hard to get their provisional licence. This can limit employment opportunities because they simply can’t get to their job” Kristy said.

“We’ve heard from the participants that getting their driver’s licence has been life changing. Eighty percent of participants that passed their driving test went on to get a job, opening up new opportunities, building confidence, and giving them more independence.”

Wanderer Program participants with certificates

Image caption: McGovern Foundation Director and West Cast Eagles Player, Tom Barrass and Mineral Resources General Manager – External Affairs, Mark Donovan presented the Wanderer Program participants with certificates.

Following the success of the initial 12-month pilot, Mineral Resources is supporting the McGovern Foundation with $900,000 in funding to continue the Wanderer Program for another three years. This is great news for the Western Australian community as there has been a huge demand for the program, with another 80 young people working towards getting their P plates.

Mineral Resources is committed to supporting programs like this to help young people get on the road to opportunity. We’re always looking for ways we can provide additional support to our community partners. This includes offering employment opportunities at our operations across Western Australia, with one Wanderer Program participant recently joining our team at Walters Drive.