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NETTS first year apprentices rub shoulders with oil and gas industry leaders

Mar 28, 2019

Our first year NETTS apprentices put their studies to the side for a week to delve deeper into the world of oil and gas last week, with a trip to the Australian Oil and Gas (AOG) Exhibition in Perth and a visit to their host company’s offices.

Now that our apprentices are two months in, the aim of this week was to put some context into the exciting roles the apprentices have taken on, demonstrating the size and scale of the oil and gas operations, and open their eyes to a world beyond the classroom.

The AOG Exhibition is always a winner with our future technicians. Filled with new technologies, upstream and downstream suppliers, and hearing about innovative solutions in the industry from keynote speakers; our apprentices left in awe of the industry they are now a part of. 

“AOG was a great eye opener for me. There were so many exhibitors showing a vast array of things across the industry. The exhibitors stalls were hands down the best part of the day, I was able to have one on one conversation with the business owners and people who operate the behind the scenes companies within the oil and gas industry, this helped me visualise just how far and wide our industry spans.”

Martin Wachipa, first year Process Plant Operator Apprentice for Woodside

This kind of feedback was echoed by the entire cohort, who made many new acquaintances in the industry, while also picking up some great items for their goodie bags along the way!  

Following the AOG exhibition, our apprentices went on tours of their host company’s offices, where they met future colleagues and learned some highly sought-after information about the facilities they would soon be working on. These visits serve to connect the apprentices with their hosts, giving context and background to the commercial aspect of the businesses, as well as a warm welcome into the company. Observing them throughout the visits, our team thought their questions were insightful and provided lively debate.

Our apprentices experienced demos of new technologies, including a virtual reality tour of Shell Prelude and watched a live feed of INPEX’s gas plant from their purpose-built Control Room. Our host company’s also arranged for a range of their employees to meet with our apprentices with subject matter experts covering topics such as process safety, life saving rules, diversity, new technologies and even financial tips for the future.

The office visits were a great success, and a timely break from the books. It allowed our apprentices to put their classroom learnings from ACEPT (Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training) into the context of an entire, ever-evolving industry within major oil and gas companies. Apprentices now return to their studies with a much greater understanding of their roles as future operators, and a clearer vision of where their careers could take them – the sky’s the limit!

The NETTS program has completed their recruitment drive for the 2019 intake. To find out more about how you can get involved in NETTS, contact us at For other training and apprenticeship opportunities with Programmed, search and apply for other positions here.

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