Developing a team of skilled, diverse and talented people has been critical to Rio Tinto Alcan’s operations at Yarwun and QAL. Across our operations we have provided health programmes for people to get involved with. We understand the value of investing in our people and we have engaged, developed and retained a workforce that reflects our business values. We also know that employing local people is good for our business. Local people are invested in the region, which usually translates to higher retention rates.


QAL recruited, inducted and trained 143 people in 2013, bringing the total workforce to 1,070. There are currently 60 apprentices working towards their trade qualifications.

At Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun, 146 people were recruited in 2013, bringing our total workforce to 692. Graduate numbers remain stable at 15 and apprenticeship intakes are below our target at 22.


Recruitment and reducing turnover has been a priority at Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun in 2013. We increased the number of people participating in our assessment centres to ensure we had a bank of highly skilled people ready for employment. Our commitment to training apprentices remains strong with a rigorous interview process to ensure the most suitable candidates are selected. During 2013, 90 vacant roles were reduced to 20, which demonstrated our strategy to move to a more stable and reliable workforce was proving successful.

QAL has remained an employer of choice in the Gladstone region in 2013 and continued to offer long-term careers for its employees. Our recruitment strategies have provided opportunities for prospective employees to enter the business at all levels, including:

  • Vacation Work
  • Apprentice, trainee and graduate positions
  • Operator, trade, staff, professional and leader opportunities

Employee Benefits

The Lifestyle Package was introduced to make a difference in the quality of life for our people in the Gladstone region. This package offered to Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwn and QAL employees includes:

  • Free golf at three different locations
  • Free use of four fitness centres
  • Free movies at the Gladstone cinema
  • Free use of the Gladstone Aquatic Centre
  • Free tennis and squash at the Gladstone Tennis & Squash Club.
Lifestyle pack

Health & Fitness

Free use of 4 fitness centres


Free golf at 3 different locations

Free use of the Gladstone Aquatic

Free movies at the gladstone cinema

QAL Lifestyle Usage 2013

*Free access to the Gladstone Tennis & Squash Club was added to the package in 2014.

Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun Lifestyle Usage 2013

Looking Forward

Overall, we aimed to consolidate our recruitment and retention processes to ensure we maintained a highly skilled and stable workforce in 2013. At both Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun and QAL, there has been a renewed focus on identifying potential leaders and ensuring development plans are in place for career progression.

QAL Figures






Full time equivalent (FTE)










Apprentice Intake



Graduate Intake




Local Employment



No target set

No target set

Indigenous Employees (excluding contractors)





Performance fell short of target   Target met/exceeded   No target set/not measured

Case Studies

QAL apprentices compete in national challenge

Three QAL apprentices will compete in the National World Skills Competition in Perth in 2014 after winning gold, silver and bronze at the regional finals in 2013. Apprentices Matt Trotter, David Smith and John Smallcombe will be provided with an identical work area, the same materials, equipment and instructions and given a competition project to finish over one day. The competition aims to test an individual’s skills against those of their peers. QAL is committed to supporting this programme as an encouragement and incentive for its apprentices to strive for excellence.

Local recruitment campaign

In 2013, Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun launched a local recruitment campaign, Here for Gladstone, which saw a handful of employees step into the media spotlight to promote the benefits of working at Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun. The campaign was successful, with ten per cent of all local people who applied for jobs during the campaign period gaining employment. Recruiting local people is a priority for Rio Tinto Alcan’s two Gladstone operations because local people are typically more invested in the region than those who relocate. Continuing to grow local talent is vital for the future of our business.