Bechtel has met the company’s commitment to employ and train 400 apprentices during construction of three liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Gladstone—one of the largest single intakes of apprentices in Australia’s history. Bechtel is designing and building the Queensland Curtis LNG, Santos GLNG, and Australia Pacific LNG plants for three separate customers on Curtis Island in Queensland.
“It’s a whole new start for me,” said John van Nimwegan, one of the 401 apprentices on the project. “It’s given me new skills, it’s going to make me more employable in the future once this project is finished. I’ve always wanted to be a boiler maker.” Watch video of the apprentices in action and hear their stories here
“This innovative apprenticeship program in Gladstone has helped us meet the high demand for skilled labor on our projects, and it brings long-lasting benefits to Australia’s construction industry,” said Alasdair Cathcart, Bechtel LNG general manager. “It has also given many adult workers the chance to gain a trade qualification that they thought had passed them by. For many, this opportunity has been life-changing.”
Bechtel worked closely with the federal government’s National Apprenticeships Program
as well as a number of local and regional training organisations to deliver on the company’s commitment to develop Australia’s construction workforce. The program focuses on training people to meet national skills shortages in areas including: electrical fitter mechanical, instrumentation and control, metal fabrication, boiler making, sheet metal, mechanical fitting, and carpentry formwork.
People with at least 40 percent of the competency for their trade qualification were considered for the program. Those who qualified were provided a flexible program targetting individual gaps that allowed the apprentices to complete their trade training within the construction timeframes of the Curtis Island projects. More than 150 people who have gone through the program are now fully qualified tradespeople.
Bechtel has been building projects in Australia for 60 years. Bechtel’s global commitment to sustainability
includes the development and delivery of training programs that enable local workers to meet project needs and prepare for employment opportunities beyond construction. The company has trained thousands of people in dozens of countries including Angola, Croatia, Oman, the United Kingdom, and the United States.