Talented and experienced trade workers seeking a future in the minerals and energy sectors are being urged to apply for hundreds of adult apprenticeships on offer through the National Apprenticeships Program.
The National Apprenticeships Program (NAP) was launched and co-funded by the Federal Government after an inquiry into the jobs demand in the resources sector over the next 20 years.
The NAP scheme gives skilled workers with extensive trade skills and experience, but not necessarily a formal qualification, the opportunity to complete trade training.
“By up-skilling adult Australian workers, the National Apprenticeships Program is providing Australian workers with the chance to gain a recognised trade and significantly increase their earning capacity,” explained Program Director Alan Sparks.
NAP is already providing much-needed skilled workers for Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business in Central Queensland, and is actively recruiting 400 adult apprentices for Bechtel Australia’s three LNG projects in Gladstone – Queensland Curtis LNG, GLNG, and Australia Pacific LNG.
Two further intakes will begin this month for leading Australian construction and contract mining company,Macmahon, with the first 50 of up to 200 places being drawn from Perth and Brisbane for diesel fitting apprenticeships.
Mr Sparks urges anyone who believes they may qualify, to register online at the NAP website www.nationalapprenticeships.com.au
“We believe there is a vast pool of talented Australians who fit the selection criteria.”
Chris O’Brien and Ross Maidens were part of Anglo American’s initial intake for Central Queensland.
Before joining the program, Chris was a qualified bus mechanic working on heavy commercial vehicles. He is now training to be a heavy diesel fitter.
“I’m outdoors working on large equipment like drag lines, excavators and face shovels - it’s a very different world,” said Chris.
Ross Maidens, one of the first intake of Advanced Entry Adult Apprentices employed under the Program, started working with Anglo American Metallurgical Coal in Central Queensland in August 2011.
Ross is a domestic electrician from the United Kingdom, whose qualifications are not recognised in Australia. He had been quoted $12,000 and three years, to study privately.
“It wasn’t feasible to undertake a normal apprenticeship here and support my family,” said Ross.
“This way I gain my Australian qualification and have basically doubled my pay.”
Six trades are being offered at this stage - Electrical Fitter Mechanic, Dual Trade Electrical/Instrumentation, 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.
The Program rigorously assesses the skills applicants already have and fills the gaps to secure full trade qualifications, potentially graduating participants within 18 months.
“The critical factor with this program is that qualifications gained through this program are competency-based, not time-based, therefore outcomes are without compromise,” Mr Sparks said.
“Participants only graduate when competent.”
A national network of Group Training Organisations and Training Providers are on stand-by to roll out the Program, as more host employers sign on.
Recruitment and college training can be facilitated from any capital city or selected regional population centre, for placement on project sites anywhere in Australia.
“The NAP initiative delivers to industry a mature, trained workforce that is able to fill skills needs with talented and experienced Australians,” Mr Sparks said.
The Program was developed specifically to address a significant predicted shortfall in skilled workers within the minerals and energy sectors. It is a funding partnership between industry, Federal and State Governments.
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