The National Apprenticeships Program, developed to address resource sector skills shortages, is proud to announce its first two graduates have achieved trade qualification in ten months.
Thirty-five year old diesel-fitting apprentice, Chris O’Brien,and 30-year-old electrical fitter-mechanic, Ben Anderson, have just completed their training with Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business.
The pair will be recognised at meeting on Wednesday, August 1, at SkillsTech Australia’s Acacia Ridge Training Centre.
NAP Program Director Alan Sparks, who developed theinnovativescheme, said both graduates epitomised the depth of talented Australian worker available to industry.
“Chris O’Brien and Ben Anderson both had significant work backgrounds that supported the final steps they needed to complete trade training,” said Mr Sparks.
“What they demonstrate is that certainly in the trade areas of construction and engineering, completing gap training requirements inside of 12 months is not unrealistic.”
Learning and Development Manager for Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business, Debbie Butler, congratulated the pair on their achievement.
“Chris and Ben bring with them a wealth of transferable skills and completing their trade with us in just under a year tells us we are on the right track with this program.
Anglo American was NAP’s first host employer with an intake of 21 Diesel Fitters and Electrical Fitter/ Mechanics.
The program is also recruiting 400 apprentices for Bechtel Australia’s three LNG construction projects in Gladstone; as well as 200 engineering diesel-fitting and carpentry formworker apprentices, in Queensland and West Australia, for construction and contract mining company, Macmahon.
“NAP provides an ideal pathway for talented Australian workers to gain entry to the resources sector,” said Mr Sparks.
“Many of these skilled workers have found it difficult to gain employment in the resources and energy sector while NAP, working in conjunction with this sector, opens doors to employment.”
Mr Sparks said it was important to understand that candidates were not ‘fast-tracked’.
“There are two stages to trade qualification,” explained Mr Sparks. “Firstly, a formal Recognition of Prior Learning assessment to demonstrate applicants achieve 40% of trade requirements, and then gap training to complete trade qualification, potentially within 18 months.”
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.
“This program delivers to industry a mature, trained workforce that is able to fill skills needs with talented and experienced Australians.”
NAP continues to seek expressions of interest 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.
Applications must be submitted online at www.nationalapprenticeships.com.au.
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