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Unique program opens employment doors for Aboriginal trainees on Gorgon project

A group of Aboriginal students at Challenger Institute of Technology have become the first to complete a unique training initiative that has resulted in employment opportunities on the Chevron-operated Gorgon Project. 

Western Australia’s large training provider, Challenger Institute, partnered with energy company Chevron Australia to provide training for 12 students in the inaugural Gorgon Entry Skills Training Program.

[Pictured alongside (L-R) :Chevron community engagement advisor Rod Mapstone, student Shannon Khan, Challenger general manager training services Jill Jamieson.]

Challenger Institute provided hands-on training and exposure to the tools, processes and tasks required to work in the resources sector.

This included a range of units and construction proficiencies, including forklift operation, tool skills, elevated work platforms, fixing and securing equipment, working in confined spaces and first aid.

The students received a number of recognised industry tickets as well as units of competency from a Certificate II in Electrotechnology.

Perhaps the most significant element of this four-week program was the genuine employment opportunities offered to successful graduates

Through the involvement of Gorgon contractors Agility, CB&I Kentz Joint Venture, Mammoet and DB Schenker, successful graduates of the program have been offered employment opportunities on the Gorgon Project, the largest single resource project in Australia's history.

The students will be working at the Australian Marine Complex and in the Henderson area, where a number of Gorgon contractors are undertaking scopes of work.

The Gorgon Project contractors who participated in the program undertook regular visits to the students in the form of guest talks and BBQ lunches, where they shared their expertise and offered valuable advice on working in the industry. 

“By working with industry to deliver this type of tailored training, an innovative program has been devised that has provided such a positive experience for the participants,” said Challenger CEO Liz Harris.

The participants were selected and assisted throughout the course by the Australian Indigenous Business Alliance Group.

Gorgon Development Director Scott Young said the Gorgon Project was making a significant contribution to employment in the Kwinana and Henderson area.

“This program is one of a number of initiatives creating opportunities for apprentices and trainees with Gorgon contractors,” Young said.

Speaking at the certificate presentation ceremony at Challenger’s Rockingham campus, course graduate Shannon Khan expressed his thanks and on behalf of the student group, described the four weeks as “a completely positive experience.”

Challenger Institute's building and construction training area provides trades training across the southern metropolitan region at its campuses in Fremantle, Rockingham and Peel (Mandurah).

Challenger Institute of Technology was this month named Western Australia's best large training provider. The Institute took out the top accolade at the prestigious WA Training Awards.

The Gorgon Project is operated by an Australian subsidiary of Chevron and is a joint venture of the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (47.3 percent), ExxonMobil (25 percent), Shell (25 percent), Osaka Gas (1.25 percent), Tokyo Gas (one percent) and Chubu Electric Power (0.417 percent).

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