We have energy and skills
GYMPIE has workers ready to fill energy and resource industry demands.
Energy Skills Queensland has begun the Southern Wide Bay Burnett chapter of its Queensland Workforce Skilling Strategy, with 30 local job-seekers completing an intensive eight-week training program to help fill workforce demands.
The local participants were selected to undertake a fully government funded, end-to-end training and job placement program which will equip them with highly-sought-after drilling skills to help meet the expected industry workforce shortfall.
Energy Skills Queensland's Kerry Fullarton said there were plenty of opportunities for local jobseekers to ride the state's energy wave, but often they didn't have precisely the right skills to meet employers' needs.
"We've been working closely with companies to identify their skill needs and facilitate the training required to ensure as many locals as possible can kick-start their careers in the industry," Ms Fullarton said.
"Our Queensland Workforce Skilling Strategy aims to train more than 500 job- seekers this year, and 100 of those will be from the Southern Wide Bay Burnett region, ensuring more Australians are able to benefit from the country's natural wealth."
Tandur property owner Brian Chivers decided to participate in ESQ's drilling program to move his career in a new direction.
"The industry is really booming right now, so I saw ESQ's training program as my chance to break into the ranks," Mr Chivers said.
"I'd spent most of my working life as a roofer and truck driver but after being unemployed for the last 12 months, I knew I had to make a better life for myself and my family.
"The Queensland Workforce Skilling Strategy staff supported me every step of the way and connected me to local employers, rather than just teaching me a few skills and handing me a certificate at the end.
"Thanks to their support I've successfully landed a full-time job with NRG Drilling in Gympie as a driller's assistant."
Kandanga resident, 47-year-old Robert Bell has also successfully gained work with NRG Drilling since completing ESQ's drilling course.
"I worked in the construction industry for more than 23 years as a plasterer, then, all of a sudden I was unemployed," Mr Bell said.
"I saw ESQ's free training program as my chance to get into the drilling industry and I haven't looked back."
Ms Fullarton said all participants of the Southern Wide Bay Burnett program would gain employment opportunities locally and in the booming Surat, Bowen and Galilee Basins.
"We have a real mix of trainees who come from a range of backgrounds, ages, genders and experiences who are all very keen to jump into their careers in the industry," she said.
"All of our participants go through a rigorous selection process so employers will have a very tough time choosing from the high standard of local, work-ready jobseekers."
The Queensland Workforce Skilling Strategy - Southern Wide Bay Burnett is an Energy Skills Queensland initiative funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations through the Local Employment Co-ordinator Flexible Funding Pool and the Queensland Government's Department of Education, Training and Employment.
Anyone interested in up- skilling, learning new skills or hiring one of the job-ready participants, should visit careersinenergy.com.au.