GE Opens Skills Development Centre to Train Local Talent for Australia’s Growing Oil and Gas Industry
• Prime Minister Julia Gillard Officially Opens New Facility
• Center Underscores GE Commitment to Supporting Australia’s Vital LNG Industry
• Addressing Need for Skilled Workers to Fill Talent Gap in the Resources Sector
PERTH, AUSTRALIA — Addressing Australia’s need for skilled local workers to support a booming oil and gas industry, GE (NYSE:GE) today celebrated the official opening of its Skills Development Centre in Jandakot, a suburb of Perth in Western Australia. The center is part of GE’s technology and learning facility, the largest complex of its kind in Australia and a cornerstone of GE’s commitment to support the growth of the country’s resources industry, including the dynamic liquefied natural gas (LNG) production sector.
Today’s ceremony was attended by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who officially opened the new facility, and other leading government officials; GE executives including Steve Sargent, president and CEO of GE Australia and New Zealand; Dan Heintzelman, president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas; David Leslie, general manager, GE Oil & Gas Australia and New Zealand; and representatives of leading oil and gas companies that operate in the region.
“As a global company with a strong regional focus, Perth has become our regional hub supplying best-in-class technology and industry expertise to build and equip mega-resource projects in Australia and the Asia Pacific region,” Heintzelman said. “In collaboration with the Australian government and private sector, we are making a significant investment in skills and development training to help address the Australian skills shortage. These types of investments are helping to make Australia a world leader not only in production, but in oil and gas talent and expertise as well.”
“By establishing the GE Skills Development Centre, we are helping our customers in the region provide essential training to increase the productivity of their workforces,” Sargent said. ”We are committed to training more than 300 people a year at the center, delivering accredited training programs locally that otherwise would have been available only offshore. This means that our employees and our customers’ employees are gaining transferrable skills that will follow them wherever they work.”
The center will provide training across a range of sectors in which GE works, including oil and gas, healthcare, power generation, mining and transportation. It features state-of-the-art classrooms and an experimental workshop that provides students with a hands-on learning environment. The center is the result of collaboration among industry associations, government and leading businesses to create a “Community of Technical Best Practices” for the oil and gas industry. Companies involved included Chevron, Woodside, Conoco Phillips and Navitas.
LNG’s environmental and economic benefits are driving a growing global demand, with Australia expected to be one of the largest LNG exporters in the world by 2020. Many global oil and gas companies are pursuing LNG activities across Australia including Chevron, the operator of the Gorgon project, which is located around 60 kilometers off the northwest coast of Western Australia and is one of the world’s largest natural gas projects. Chevron also is leading the development of the Wheatstone project in Western Australia.
Other examples include the Ichthys LNG project, which is being developed by a joint venture including INPEX and Total; the Julimar Development Project operated by Apache; and Shell’s Prelude floating LNG (FLNG) project offshore Australia, the largest floating offshore facility in the world. GE Oil & Gas is supplying technology and systems for all of these LNG projects.
Australia faces a critical shortage of trained, skilled workers in the resources sector to meet this demand. The government has forecast that around 70,000 skilled jobs need to be created in Western Australia alone to meet the demands of that sector.
The Jandakot facility is part of a regionalization approach that GE is deploying around the world, with major technology and service centers in such locations as Brazil and the Middle East. Through service and training centers and other support facilities, GE brings its latest technology, global expertise and training capabilities closer to its customers in the world’s most important energy markets.
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ge.com.
About GE Oil & Gas
GE Oil & Gas is a world leader in advanced technology equipment and services for all segments of the oil and gas industry, from drilling and production, LNG, pipelines and storage to industrial power generation, refining and petrochemicals. GE Oil & Gas also provides pipeline integrity solutions, including inspection and data management, and designs and manufactures wire-line and drilling measurement solutions for the oilfield services segment.
As part of its customer focus and commitment, GE Oil & Gas exploits technological innovation from other GE businesses, such as aviation and healthcare, to continuously improve oil and gas industry performance and productivity. GE Oil & Gas employs more than 35,000 people worldwide and operates in more than 100 countries.
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