Woodside apprentices capture honours

The apprentices at Woodside Energy’s Karratha gas plant have taken out the company’s inaugural health and safety award with a peer leadership model which has had spectacular results. By building a strong safety culture and mentoring incoming youngsters, the apprentice group at KGP turned around a previously poor record to produce a nil lost time injuries outcome for the last three years running. Woodside chief executive and managing director Don Voelte presented the group with a cheque for $15,000 to go to a charity of their choice. Woodside’s 22 on-site apprentices at the Karratha plant are employed and managed by Apprenticeships WA, a division of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA. Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton apprentices also come from Apprenticeships WA, which is the state’s largest apprenticeship management scheme.The apprentices won the prestigious Woodside award from a strong field of competing submissions for the health and safety prize which was open to all company employees and contractors for projects or initiatives undertaken at Woodside sites.The Western Australian winners of the 2005 Minister’s Awards for Excellence for Employers of New Apprentices have been announced, with four WA companies in different regions recognised by Vocational and Technical Education Minister Gary Hardgrave at a recent ceremony on the Gold Coast.Alcoa of Australia Limited was the Perth winner, for its involvement in establishing the school-based New Apprenticeship model, which is now used throughout Australia. Under the model, school-based trainees spend most of their time at school doing career weighted subjects, but also spend 12 weeks a year working on site gaining experience before applying for a formal apprenticeship.Argyle Diamond Mines was the Northern WA winner. About half of Argyle’s 800 employees live in the Kimberley region, with 31 New Apprentices, 24 of whom are Indigenous.Esperance-based Kimbadell Pastoral Co was the Central and South Eastern WA winner. The broadacre farming enterprise currently employs five staff, including one new apprentice and a former new apprentice.Pingelly Health Services, winner of the Southern WA award, embarked on a New Apprenticeships program less than 12 months ago.

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