Program boosts local jobs in Western Downs gas sector
The pipeline of locally grown talent taking up a trade in the Western Downs’ powerhouse energy sector continues to reach new heights after Shell QGC welcomed thirteen new apprentices and trainees in 2021.
On March 26, a celebration was held for the newcomers at the QGC Training Centre in Chinchilla, where Shell QGC vice president Godson Njoku said the Pathways Program was an integral part of the business’ ongoing commitment to create local jobs, and a diverse local economy.
“Including the 13 new apprentices and trainees… the QGC Pathways Program has helped close to 50 locals to get their foot in the door,” Mr Njoku said.
“We’re also celebrating nine program graduates who have finished their training, meaning they’ve obtained a nationally-recognised qualification while continuing to live in the region and be part of their home community.”
Shell QGC electrical and instrumentation technician apprentice Dakota Girdler, 21, said he was over the moon to have the opportunity to start an exciting career in the energy sector.
“I can see myself being a great tradesman with some of the things I’ve already learned during the program, I plan to stay with QGC for a while then ultimately I want to open up my own business,” he said.
“Being a dad, it also helps with stability, although working away can be hard sometimes I’m very grateful for the opportunity.
“He’s getting used to dad being away, but when I come back, he’s always excited and happy… so that’s what I look forward to.”
Working in the energy industry as a scaffolder, newly appointed electrical and instrumentation technician apprentice Morgan Watkins said it’s great to see more women taking up trades.
“It’s good to take a chance and step up and do something you usually wouldn’t do, I’d say to others to just give it a go,” she said.
“It’s something I’ve always been interested in and I spoke to a lot of the guys on site as a scaffolder, I got to learnt a lot, so last year I wrote down my goals and one of them was actually to do this job and I was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship.”
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said it was an exciting time to join the resources industry as it played a key role in Queensland’s economic recovery following COVID.
“And not only that but they’re able to receive this training, experience and mentoring whilst remaining in their local communities,” he said.
“There are more than 68,000 resource workers across our state and this highly skilled workforce helps our state generate about $48 billion in resources exports each year.
“The Petroleum and Gas Industry continues to be a major contributor to this region’s economy, and I know that Shell QGC is proud to be a part of that, helping this region grow and prosper.”
Mr Stewart said it was great to see a strong focus on diversity and recruiting locally with three women and eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people starting their energy careers.
“As a regional MP and former school principal, I know how difficult it can be to keep our kids in our regions while earning a living,” he said.
“This program will ensure young people from the Western Downs remain a core part of the industry with flow on benefits for the local community.”
The Pathways Program is delivered in partnership with MiGROUP who provide ongoing mentoring and training support throughout the process.
The next intake for the program is set to begin in August 2021, click here to register and find out more information.