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From the classroom to a class-great, NETTS graduate wins WA Apprentice of the Year!

Oct 13, 2020

In January 2020, 16 young apprentices graduated from the first intake of the four-year National Energy Technician Training Scheme (NETTS) as qualified process plant technicians.

One of these graduates was Perth-based Bethany Clarke – an exceptional secondary student, achieving a high ATAR after completing her schooling at Perth’s prestigious PLC.

Nine months since graduation, and Bethany’s career grows from strength to strength, having secured her dream job with Shell on Prelude’s FLNG and now being awarded WA Apprentice of the Year at the 2020 Western Australia Training Awards.

On completing her secondary school studies, and unsure of whether a University pathway was for her, Beth took the alternative route and chose a VET pathway. The oil and gas industry runs through the Clarke family; Beth completed the NETTS apprenticeship with her brother Blake, her father works in the industry and her mum recently qualified as a Process Plant Operator.

Bethany Clarke – 2020 WA Trainee of the Year

I am so happy to have won apprentice of the year, and I cannot wait to begin my ambassador role for vocational training. I am looking forward to promoting a trade pathway for anyone who is interested in doing so, and hope that my story inspires more young women to apply for a job that they might not have normally considered. ”

In November 2019, Programmed brought together representatives from industry to discuss the future of VET and its important role in building Australia’s future workforce, Programmed invited Bethany to share her training experience and hopes for the future. The Honorable Steve Irons, MP asked Bethany what she tells her friends when they asked why she chose a VET pathway instead of a traditional university degree, she answered: “I’ve just finished my training at the same time as you, and I’ve just bought my first home”.

Bethany believes that being a female in a male-dominated industry pushed her to become a more confident version of herself and is passionate about advocating for women in the industry, further sharing –

When I first flew offshore, I was 20 years old, quite shy and was one of only two females on the facility. I had to adapt to become an integral part of the team. I believe that being a young female is a huge advantage for my workplace, as I’m able to bring a new way of thinking to the team.

Stephanie Kay, NETTS Training Coordinator commented, “Beth has a long and successful career in front of her. She has been a mature, grounded and hardworking apprentice from day one and is a strong role model and supporter of women in non-traditional trades. Beth continues to espouse the benefits of this and her industry to other women looking for opportunities; creating a ‘hand up’ to those that may need this support. Her knowledge and understanding both technically, and of people, has ensured her success now and into the future.”

The opportunities that come with NETTS not only offers young people priceless life and industry experience, but it is contributing to diversifying the workforce in oil and gas. NETTS is producing hard-working, resilient and outstanding young Australians, like Bethany and changing the face of the industry.

NETTS provides an entry pathway into the oil and gas sector which requires no previous experience and is a great example of a collaborative industry-led VET program that is delivering valuable results. NETTS is a first of its kind – being a collaboration between Programmed and major oil and gas companies including Santos, Shell, Woodside, Vermilion, INPEX, BHP and Jadestone.

The primary goal is to increase diversity in the oil and gas sector and build a future pipeline of young talent. The program currently has 64% female, 34% Indigenous participation.

13 new NETTS apprentices began their training with Programmed in 2020, taking the total of NETTS apprentices to over 50 and we’re excited to watch their successful journey continue.

Looking to create a career pathway through a traineeship or apprenticeship? Browse opportunities here.

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