Photo of an adult apprentice

Adult Apprenticeship Opportunities

The National Apprenticeships Program (NAP), which helps talented Australian workers gain a trade qualification within eighteen months, has secured its second Western Australian contract.

The Federally-funded program is currently recruiting for 15 adult apprenticeships for Leighton Contractors.

“Lately, the focus has been on job losses within the resources sector,” said NAP Program Director Alan Sparks. “Our Program, working in conjunction with this sector, is re-opening doors to new employment opportunities.”

Leighton Contractors’ General Manager People and Capability, Jane Sherlock said NAP was an enhancement to current apprenticeship training provided by Leighton Contractors.

Photo of an adult apprentice“We’ve mainly focused on full apprenticeships within the resources sector, but NAP gives us an avenue to deliver formal, focused and trade-related workforce development into our civil construction business so we can provide competent, work-ready people at a faster pace,” said Ms Sherlock.

“The program also allows us to enhance our vocational educational training for external people joining the company, not to mention our existing workforce,” she said.

The innovative program recently celebrated its first graduates. All qualified within 12 months and have now accepted permanent positions with their host employer. Among the graduates was 30-year-old former linesman Ben Anderson, who completed his electrical fitter-mechanic apprenticeship in eight months.

“I didn’t realise programs like NAP existed. I was wondering how to get recognised for the previous education I had put myself through so I could finish off what I had started. NAP was the perfect program for that,” said Mr Anderson.

Leighton Contractors will offer four trades through NAP – Mechanical Fitter, Metal Fabrication Trade – Boiler Maker, Electrical Fitter Mechanic and Carpenter.

While applications have now closed, expressions of interest for future campaigns can be submitted online at www.nationalapprenticeships.com.au

Mr Sparks said ideal candidates, mostly aged between 25 and 45, included people who have partly completed an apprenticeship, permanent Australian residents with overseas qualifications not yet recognised in Australia, ex-members of the Defence forces with aligned qualifications or skills, people with other related trade qualifications, and trades assistants for the construction and engineering trades only.

“There are two stages to NAP trade qualification,” explained Mr Sparks.

“Firstly there is a formal Recognition of Prior Learning assessment to demonstrate applicants achieve the NAP benchmark of 40% of trade requirements, and then there is Gap Training to complete the full trade qualification – potentially within 18 months,” he said. “Each step is without compromise.”

NAP was created specifically to address a significant predicted shortfall in skilled workers within the minerals and energy sectors. It is a partnership between industry, Federal and State Governments, Training Provider and Group Training Organisations.