Bechtel staff accompany Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and the Workplace Relationships Senator Chris Evans on a site tour of Bechtel, Gladstone. Photo David Sparkes/The Observer
Bechtel staff accompany Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and the Workplace Relationships Senator Chris Evans on a site tour of Bechtel, Gladstone. Photo David Sparkes/The Observer David Sparkes GLA151111BECH

Bechtel plans for 400 apprentices

A MASSIVE opportunity for training has been created in Gladstone.

Bechtel announced yesterday 400 adult apprenticeships will be created as part of a new program. The scheme is part of the Federal Government's National Apprenticeships Program.

The initiative is being touted as one of the biggest single intakes of adult apprentices in Australia's history.

Bechtel's managing director in Australia, Andy Greig said the program would provide opportunity for adults who have built up skills in industry, but have never become fully qualified.

Depending on the accreditation a worker receives for previously acquired skills, the apprenticeship is expected to take about 18 months.

"This innovative program is a win-win and we are pleased to be part of it," Mr Greig said. "It will help meet the demand for skilled labour and give adult workers with uncompleted apprenticeships, or those working in allied industries without a trade qualification, the chance to complete an apprenticeship in a reduced amount of time."

Bechtel's Gladstone manager, Kevin Berg said he hoped the initiative would cement the company's place in the community.

"We've got a primary focus on looking after as many local people that are interested in joining this program as we can," he said. "Then (after that) the net goes out further from (Gladstone)."

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Training Senator Chris Evans both flew in to Gladstone for the announcement.

Senator Evans said the adult apprenticeships program would not detract from apprenticeship programs for young people.

He also said the program would give a second chance to workers who had joined the workforce and gained skills but never qualified in a trade.

Premier Bligh said the announcement was evidence the Queensland economy was performing strongly and creating jobs.

 

New ideas

  • Bechtel's program is tied in with the National Apprenticeships Program (NAP).
  • NAP will conduct the recruitment and determine what level of accreditation an applicant is entitled to based on prior experience.


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