There is limited time to secure one of the Adult Apprenticeships with engineering and construction giant, Bechtel Australia, available through the National Apprenticeships Program (NAP).
NAP is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to ensuring Australian workers secure Australian jobs.
Four trades are being offered on Curtis Island in Gladstone; Electrical (Fitter Mechanic), Dual Electrical – Instrumentation, Metal Fabrication Heavy – Boilermaker and Mechanical Fitter.
NAP Program Director Alan Sparks said the mass recruitment drive was an unprecedented opportunity for talented Australian workers to secure a job within the rewarding resource sector and complete a trade qualification within eighteen months.
“Bechtel is a proud local employer,” said Mr Sparks. “And NAP has run intakes with Bechtel over the past 18 months to recruit from Gladstone and local surrounds.”
Applications must be lodged online at www.nationalapprenticeships.com.au by April 7, ahead of an invitation-only information session in Brisbane on April 10. The first positions will commence onsite in June.
“Many applicants have already been working in industry, in management roles in many cases, and certainly over a wide and diverse range of skills.
“A number are coming out of the defence force, a number already have a trade under their belt, so they’re looking to upgrade their skills to a dual trade responsibility.”
Brisbane father Brett McCarthy applied for an earlier Bechtel intake and is due to start a Mechanical Fitter apprenticeship in early April. The former automotive machinist had been working in structural steel for the past eight years when he applied.
“As soon as I saw NAP, I applied for it – it’s extremely clever. It’s a way of furthering my education and still being paid a really good wage – a bit of initiative and a little bit of sacrifice will be worth it in the end.”
NAP was launched in early 2011 as a solution to the skills shortage in the minerals and energy sectors and is already providing much-needed skilled workers for projects in Central Queensland and Western Australia.
The Program recently celebrated its first graduates – including an Electrical Fitter Mechanic who finished in eight months and a Diesel Fitter who completed in ten months. Both had extensive work histories.
The key to the Program and its apprentices’ success is a robust selection process which includes a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment to establish that applicants meet NAP’s minimum skills requirement.
“The process identifies people who have the talent and the skills to complete training within this unique framework, and delivers to employers some of the best apprentices available in Australia today,” said Mr Sparks.
SkillsTech Australia Institute Director Mary Campbell said the TAFE would undertake the RPL process for potential candidates and also provide trade training for successful applicants.
“It is programs like these that ensure Queensland’s leading trade TAFE is delivering skills today for our future and we are very excited to be partnered with NAP and Bechtel for this venture.”
Ideal applicants include people who have partly completed an apprenticeship, permanent Australian residents with overseas qualifications not yet recognised in Australia, ex-members of the defence forces with aligned qualifications or skills, people with other related trade qualifications, and trades assistants for the construction and engineering trades only.
Brett admits the career change will initially be as daunting as it will be rewarding.
“It’s a big change, I’m used to going home every day obviously, but I am very excited,” said Brett.
With only days to go before applications close, candidates need to act quickly and register.