Prince Charles launched the Australian GFG Australia Cadets Programme at his 70th birthday celebration with ambassador Sanjeev Gupta.
His Royal Highness Prince of Wales and GFG Alliance Executive Chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, are helping nurture a new generation of skilled manufacturing workers with the launch of the GFG Australia Cadets programme.
Prince Charles launched GFG Australia Cadets at an event hosted by the Queensland Governor to celebrate His Royal Highness’ 70th birthday on Friday. GFG Alliance flew a team from Whyalla – the location of GFG’s main Australian mining, steel and port operations – to meet with Prince Charles. The team included local school principal Damien Judd and aspiring student, 13-year-old Grace Smallacombe, from a local school in Whyalla.
Speaking in London when the Australian launch was first discussed, Prince Charles reflected on the impact the programme could make in Australia and the possibilities and opportunities that the cadets programme could bring to the future of the manufacturing industry in Australia.
Mr Gupta was appointed by Prince Charles as his official HRH Ambassador for Industrial Cadets in March with the aim to breathe new life into the future of Australian manufacturing by giving children and young people direct, structured experience of industry while still at school or college.
“In order for Australian industry to compete in a global marketplace, we must ensure that we foster a strong and sustainable talent pipeline,” Mr Gupta said.
“Australian industry faces similar challenges to the UK with a generational gap in industrial skills. I am very confident the GFG Cadets programme will be successful here in Australia.”
“GFG Australia Cadets programme will aim to provide young people in Australia with valuable experiences and education to ensure that they are able to meet the challenges ahead of them.”
Mr Gupta said that the key to GFG’s ambitions of reinvigorating the local manufacturing industry in Australia, is ensuring Australia’s next generation has the motivation and the skills to enable the nation to be competitive and successful on the world stage.
“Coming from a family of industrialists, while growing up I had the opportunity to spend time in steel works and engineering plants,” he said.
“That left a lasting impression on me and really inspired me to pursue an active career in industry. I see GFG Australia Cadets fulfilling the same function and am very excited about its promise in Australia.”
GFG Alliance Australia is commencing the programme in Whyalla, South Australia, by initiating a partnership with local high schools to provide students high-quality, accredited work experience whilst being mentored by industry role models. The programme will then be adopted across key towns and cities throughout the country where GFG has a significant presence.
Whyalla Principal, Damien Judd, who attended the launch by Prince Charles, said: “What Mr Gupta has done in securing the future of Whyalla is incredible, and we’re excited about the investments and improvements GFG has in the pipeline.
“The fact that he is also looking at inspiring and training the next generation of Whyalla residents through the GFG Australia Cadets programme shows his real commitment to the future of our city.”
Speaking at the launch, Whyalla student representative Grace Smallacombe said “It was a real honour to meet Prince Charles and Mr Gupta in Brisbane, and now I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to be mentored by local industry leaders. The cadet programme will allow students to see how GFG’s Whyalla operations run and maybe get a job there in the future”.
About GFG Alliance
GFG Alliance is a leading integrated international group of companies in energy, metals, engineering, logistics and more recently infrastructure, financial services, property and mining, founded and owned by the British Gupta Family. The Alliance’s integrated business model aims to trigger the revival and re-growth of industry in the countries where it operates. The Alliance’s strategy has sustainability at its heart – both economic and environmental – as a means of delivering long-term solutions to cyclical industries.