Applicants needed for adult resource sector apprenticeships
The National Apprenticeships Program, for skilled adult trade workers, has now secured 950 vacancies across Queensland and Western Australian coal and gas projects; and is eager to move applicants through the selection process.
Hundreds of Brisbane applicants are in the process of having their existing competencies formally assessed through Recognition of Prior Learning; and potential candidates from Cairns are also being urged to apply.
“Cairns is a region of interest in Queensland,” explained Program Director Alan Sparks, “Especially given its focus as a resource sector fly-in, fly-out hub for the State Government.”
“We’d particularly like to hear from any interested trade workers before June 13, when we’ll be hosting a major Information Night in Cairns – one of the first stages of recruitment.”
More Perth workers are also being sought; applications to be submitted online at www.nationalapprenticeships.com.au
The National Apprenticeships Program (NAP) was launched by the Federal Government 12 months ago as a solution to the national skills shortage in the resources sector, and with a mandate to create 1000 positions in eighteen months.
The unique program upskills Australian workers by rigorously assessing the skills applicants already have, then filling the gaps in training to enable them to complete trade qualification, potentially within 18 months, and much faster than a traditional apprenticeship.
About 500 applicants and their partners attended a Brisbane Information Night – clear evidence, said Mr Sparks, of the untapped pool of talented Australians eager to take up Australian jobs through the new and exciting initiative.
Mr Sparks said the room fell silent when the pregnant wife of adult apprentice Peter Cartwright told how proud she was of her husband and how the program had changed their lives for the better.
Peter began a diesel fitting apprenticeship with Anglo American Metallurgical Coal in August last year.
“I’d been working as a trade assistant in a Woolworths maintenance workshop, and also raced in the motor sport of drifting,” said Peter.
“I thought I had enough skills to get a mining job, but just couldn’t get in, until my union organiser suggested applying for an adult apprenticeship with NAP.”
Peter is now well on track to graduating within 18 months.
“Starting a family, right now, wouldn’t have been on the cards if it wasn’t for the financial security gaining my trade has given us.”
Skills Queensland Chief Executive Officer Rod Camm, who also spoke on the night, said he welcomed NAP’s innovative approach to training.
“The latest estimates are that the state’s resources industry will need up to 40,000 skilled workers in the next decade,” Mr Camm said.
“Queensland needs to significantly increase its pool of skilled and qualified trade workers and central to that is better utilisation of existing adult labour markets.
“We need to start implementing suitably structured adult entry trade programs, like the National Apprenticeships Program, which make it easier for Queenslanders to pursue a trade career and increase the number of skilled workers for employers.
“For working Queenslanders with families and mortgages, it is often very hard for them to commit to a traditional three or four year apprenticeship, but by being innovative in our approaches to training we can make a trade career more realistic and attainable.
“Adult entry trade programs also help the training system remain flexible enough to respond to industry training requirements,” he said.
NAP is seeking expressions of interest, nationally, in six trades - Electrical Fitter Mechanic, Dual Trade Electrical/Instrumentation, Metal Fabrication Trade - Boiler Maker/Welder/Pipe Fitters, Engineering Diesel Fitter, Mechanical Fitter and Carpentry Formworkers.
Ideal applicants, mostly aged between 25 and 45, include people who have partly completed an apprenticeship, permanent Australian residents with overseas qualifications not yet recognised in Australia, ex-members of the defence forces with aligned qualifications or skills, people with other related trade qualifications, and trades assistants for the construction and engineering trades only.
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