Manufacturing workers offered adult apprenticeships to join resources sector

Manufacturing, civil construction and defence force workers are being targeted to join the first ever adult apprenticeships for the resources and energy sector.

The National Apprenticeships Program (NAP), offered by Queensland’s SkillsTech Australia in collaboration with national training organisations, is designed to attract skilled workers to the booming sector.

The apprenticeships are for adults over 25 years old with some technical background in the trade who are granted advanced entry introduction to the course.

Six trades are offered: Electrical Fitter Mechanic, Dual Trade Electrical/Instrumentation, Metal Fabrication Boiler Maker Welder, Metal Fabrication Pipe Fitter, Engineering Diesel Fitter and Carpentry Form worker.

According to NAP program director Alan Sparks, the system was launched in response to the National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce Report which identified the skills shortages in the mining and resources sector.

“This Advanced Entry Adult Apprenticeship Scheme recruits Australians who have extensive skills and experience, rigorously assessing the skills they have already acquired and fills the gaps to secure full trade qualifications, potentially graduating participants within 18 months,” Sparks told Manufacturers’ Monthly. 

More than 1,000 candidates have registered their interest in the program, and nearly all of these have been identified as appropriate candidates, said a spokesperson from NAP affiliate, EastCoast Apprenticeships.

Nearly 600 of these are from Queensland, however the organisers plan to roll-out the program nationally. Recruitment is from capital cities and selected regional centres, for placement on project sites anywhere in Australia on a fly-in, fly-out or drive-to-the-gate basis.

Typical applicants include:

• people who’ve partly completed an apprenticeship in the past
• permanent Australian residents with overseas qualifications not yet recognised in Australia
• ex-members of the defence forces with aligned qualifications
• people with other related trade qualifications
• trades assistants from the construction and engineering trades.

“This scheme offers industry untapped access to thousands of quality, talented and experienced skilled Australians,” said NAP director Sparks.

Register for the NAP program here.