Apprenticeships open doors in resource construction
WHEN the National Apprenticeships Program's (NAP) first female adult apprentice Nikki Green was a young child, she dreamed of working in animal care. She's now working in the "Jurassic Park" of the resource construction sector.
Ms Green started a mechanical fitting apprenticeship with Bechtel on the LNG projects in Gladstone in January and is on track to complete her qualification within 18 months while on adult wages.
"I love the job. I'm learning so much - things I never thought possible or thought I'd ever have a chance to do," Ms Green said.
"Everything's just Jurassic Park-size out here, compared to previous work."
Ms Green said the program was ideally placed to assist the growing number of women interested in joining the resources, energy and construction sectors.
"There are a lot of females that want to get a trade qualification, but they think it's on junior wages," she said.
"If women were aware there are so many incentives, a lot more would probably apply."
NAP's program director Alan Sparks said signing Nikki was a fitting way to celebrate the program's transition from pilot, to permanent, status.
Mr Sparks said he expected Nikki to be the first of many females to complete the program.
"Fifty-one percent of our population is female and if an employer is looking for a robust workforce that can deliver productivity and cost reductions, an element of that workforce has to be female," he said.
"NAP has led the way in identifying the significant size of Australia's unrecognised and untapped pool of talented adults."
The federally-funded NAP was launched in 2011 specifically to upskill talented Australian workers for the resources and energy sectors, by offering adult apprenticeships on adult wages.
The program allows work histories to be credited against apprenticeship competencies, allowing some NAP graduates to complete trade training within eight months.
Expressions of interest are being sought for six trades - electrical fitter mechanic, dual trade electrical/ instrumentation, metal fabrication trade - boilermaker/welder/pipe fitters, engineering diesel fitter, mechanical fitter and carpentry.
To apply visit www.nationalapprenticeships.com.au.