The company at the helm of Gladstone’s Curtis Island Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects has taken top honours at the Queensland Training Awards.
In honour of the $2.3 million Bechtel Australia invested in training between July 2011 and February 2013, the company was awarded Employer of the Year on September 13.
Kevin Berg, Bechtel’s Gladstone general manager, voiced his appreciation of the award, saying it recognises not just the training staff but also the men and women who have taken on the challenge of learning new skills.
“I’m proud that we are able to provide training and new career opportunities to our employees as we continue to up-skill Queensland’s construction workforce,” Mr Berg said.
Regarding the Curtis Island projects, Mr Berg told the Gladstone Observer in a September 14 article that there are currently over 10,000 people working across the Curtis Island project and Bechtel is still hiring more than 100 workers every week.
Before construction began, the peak workforce was originally projected to be 8,500 employees but an “accelerated schedule” alongside floods and a period of negative growth in the metal and mining industries has caused the figure to exceed expectations, he said.
The pre-project forecast also predicted that 400 adult apprenticeships would be offered and it is that commitment to training that contributed to Bechtel’s win on Friday.
The Curtis Island projects’ 10,500 strong workforce was expected to remain at this peak until mid-2014, when completion of the first LNG plant is scheduled.
The civil works stage is coming to an end, meaning the projects are currently transitioning into a phase more focussed on mechanical and structural construction, prompting Bechtel to seek workers to fill specific, critical roles.
Mr Berg has placed a call for pipefitters, special class welders, electricians and riggers. He has also recommended those with experience in heavy industry or maintenance operations register their interest by sending in a resume.