Supported by four leading oil and gas companies, a new program will help to facilitate a new standardised education and training program for future workers.

Energy Apprenticeships Group (EAG) is in partnership with Quadrant Energy, Shell, Vermilion and Woodside to train apprentices in Western Australia.

The first intake of Process Operator apprentices begun the Australian first training program on 1 February in Perth, with the program spanning over four years.

The training will involve two years based in Perth at the Challenger Institute of Technology’s Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) followed by two years of real-world experience as a fly-in-fly-out operator at various onshore and offshore oil and gas facilities across Australia.

The aim of the program is to increase the supply of safe, skilled workers for the oil and gas sector. The program will eventually produce qualified Process Operators, Mechanical Fitters and Instrumentation Electrical Apprentices.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) Chief Executive Officer, Deidre Willmott, acknowledged the pro-active and innovative approach taken by Quadrant, Shell, Vermilion and Woodside in contributing to the development of the new training model and said it would help address a looming skills shortage.

“CCI, through the EAG Academy, is committed to helping the oil and gas industry develop a qualified workforce of skilled and reliable employees and to provide ongoing mentoring, coaching tools, resources and support,” Ms Willmott said.

EAG General Manager, Pat Tierney, said the Academy would help prepare the WA oil and gas industry for future success.

“We’re providing a training solution for the entire industry that delivers results more efficiently than any one business because we’re sharing resources and costs and reducing repetition in the recruitment and training stages,” Mr Tierney said.

“Local-based workers are up to four times cheaper to employ than relocated expatriates and our program will increase the global talent pool of oil and gas operators.”

Quadrant Energy Training and Development Manager, Stewart Allan, said, “As a WA based oil and gas producer, Quadrant Energy is proud to be a founding company sponsor of the Energy Apprenticeships Group Academy initiative.

“The new EAG apprenticeship scheme will add new talent to the existing technical workforce and enhance the future skills base of the Australian industry.”

Jessica Dickers

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