The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) is encouraging young people to stay employed in the pipeline industry.
APGA is providing opportunities for young people to learn new skills, giving them more incentive to remain in the industry.
APGA Chief Executive, Cheryl Cartwright, said that like other industries, Australia’s pipeline industry is faced with the twin challenges of retiring expertise and lower levels of engagement among newer recruits.
In an address to the Queensland Gas Conference and Exhibition 2015, Ms Cartwright said the small size of the pipeline industry in Australia and the multidisciplinary nature of pipeline engineering presents a complex challenge.
“We found that post-graduate courses would be unviable in Australia, so we decided to instead describe what a person needs in order to become a competent pipeline engineer,” Ms Cartwright said.
“The result is a framework of competency standards that cover the spectrum of knowledge and experience required by the different elements of pipeline engineering. The framework enables easy understanding, assessment and documentation of competency throughout an engineer’s career.
“This means young pipeline engineers can plot career paths that give them the competencies they need for the areas they choose to work in – such as design or construction. And companies can make sure the individuals and teams they have working on projects have the required skills and experience, and plan their training and knowledge transfer programs to fill any gaps,” Ms Cartwright said.
APGA has also established a semi-formal group of young professionals who are empowered to arrange their own networking events, training and education within the industry.
The Young Pipeliners Forum (YPF) will celebrate its first decade in 2016 and participation has led to many graduates electing to stay in an industry they never dreamed of joining while at university.
“Both the YPF and the competency standards are being adapted by pipeline organisations overseas, once again demonstrating Australia’s ability to arrive at innovative solutions to complex problems,” Ms Cartwright said.