HUNDREDS of Central Queenslanders are being offered a fast-track to a lucrative career in the mining and energy industries, and the chance to earn more than $100,000 a year while they do their training.
Alan Sparks, program director for the National Apprenticeships Program, told The Morning Bulletin he had set a target of getting at least 500 Advanced Entry Adult Apprenticeships for the CQ region.
"We're looking for people who have the skills but have no formal qualifications," he said as his organisation started the search for candidates in six trades - electrical fitter mechanic, dual trade electrical instrumentation, boiler maker/welder, pipe fitter, diesel fitter and carpentry form worker.
"The ideal candidate is aged 25 to 45 and has skills from aligned trades, but no formal Australian qualifications."
The program is not interested in people with no relevant skills or inexperienced youngsters looking to get highly paid work in the booming resources industry.
Applicants might be people who partly completed an apprenticeship, workers with foreign qualifications not recognised in Australia, former defence force personnel with appropriate training, people with other related trade qualifications and trades assistants from the construction and engineering trades.
Existing skills must equate to 40% of a trade requirement and he stresses that the selection process will be very robust. The organisation says apprentices will get at least $70,000 from day one and up to $120,000 depending on the employer and the work site.
Mr Sparks says his organisation is attempting to fill the massive skills shortages within Central Queensland's resources industry, and successful applicants will get on the job training with salaries close to the industry average even before they qualify.
According to the Queensland Resources Council the average salary in mining is currently $122,000.
The first 19 adult apprentices from a pilot project have started work at Anglo American mine sites, he said, and Anglo is one of the mining companies involved in formal discussions to take more. Successful applicants will receive 12 weeks of college study in the city or regional centre where they were recruited and the idea is to get them qualified and in full-time employment as quickly as possible.
"This is about seizing Queensland opportunities for Queenslanders. And as most of the successful applicants will already be working, their elevation will create new employment opportunities down the line."
- Anyone interested should register online at National Apprenticeships.
- Nationally the resources sector says it will be short of 36,000 skilled workers by 2015
- The National Apprenticeships Program is supported by the Commonwealth Government's Workforce Innovation Program and is a not-for-profit organisation
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