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Seven apprentices undertaking a Certificate III in Engineering – Industrial Electrician at the new Electrical Instrumentation Centre of Specialisation (EICS) in Karratha completed their first block of on-campus learning earlier this month.
The contemporary centre, which opened in November last year, is providing students with a practical learning experience using state-of-the-art teaching equipment such as interactive computer-based training, as well as motor training rigs and instrumentation tools.
The centre is creating new career pathways for school leavers, as well as opportunities for qualified electricians to complete specialist training.
Pilbara Development Commission Chief Executive Officer Terry Hill said the centre was providing students with access to new training and qualifications not previously available in the Pilbara.
“Creating access to qualifications that are relevant to the Pilbara’s primary industries will help to create more employment opportunities and career prospects for local residents,” Mr Hill said.
The seven apprentices are hosted by Woodside and employed by Programmed.
Woodside’s Asset Manager at the Karratha Gas Plant, Andrew Lobb, said the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project and Pluto LNG were proud to be industry partners in the EICS.
“This new facility is already making a significant and sustainable contribution to improving training outcomes for electrical apprentices and tradespeople in the Pilbara,” Mr Lobb said.
“It will also help create a pipeline of skilled personnel to operate our facilities into the future.
"We’re very proud of our track record in training up local apprentices and trainees. In 2016, all 28 of our intake were local residents, drawn from the City of Karratha".
More than 95 apprentices are completing qualifications from the new centre, including Certificate IV in Engineering – Instrumentation and Certificate II in Electronic Assembly.
North Regional TAFE Managing Director Kevin Doig said the new facility meant young apprentices studying industrial electrical and instrumentation no longer need to travel to Perth to study.
“This training is great for both students and employers. We acknowledge and thank Woodside for their support in the establishment of this new training centre,” Mr Doig said.
The specialised training centre also has the potential to attract students from around the country to come and live and work in the oil and gas epi-centre of Australia.
The Electrical Instrumentation Centre of Specialisation was funded by the State Government through the Pilbara Development Commission and Department of Training and Workforce Development, and the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project and Pluto LNG.