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Queensland’s first training program for employees new to the Liquefied Natural Gas industry has launched by state Minister for Education, Training and Employment, John-Paul Langbroek in Gladstone.

The training program is a unique partnership between ConocoPhillips, one of the largest energy companies in the world and operator of the Australia Pacific LNG facility on Curtis Island, Central Queensland Institute of TAFE, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Petroskills.

Warwick King, President of ConocoPhillips Australia East, said this was an important milestone for the Australia Pacific LNG project, and the LNG industry in Queensland.

“The LNG industry is new to Queensland, it will provide an opportunity to diversify and develop the skills in this State, and provide new avenues for local employment.

“For ConocoPhillips it is critical that we have highly skilled and well trained employees to operate the LNG facility on Curtis Island. This will ensure a smooth transition from construction to operation, and maintain our schedule to deliver first LNG cargo from Curtis Island in mid-2015.

“We are very pleased to be partnering in this project with Central Queensland Institute of TAFE who bring local training capability and infrastructure, and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Petroskills, who between them bring more than 40 years of oil and gas training experience to this partnership,” he said.

Mr King said one of the major challenges for the developing LNG industry is that the nearest alternative training programs are either in Perth or overseas.

“Rather than travel abroad, our employees can now receive LNG training right here in Gladstone.

“This training program helps to support local employment and skills development, and will provide an important new career path for local people wishing to pursue a career in LNG,” Mr King said.

Mr Langbroek congratulated ConocoPhillips and Central Queensland Institute of TAFE for their partnership approach which he said would help skill workers for an emerging industry needing critical skills.

“This innovative approach to training reflects the current reforms taking place in the training industry under the Newman Government’s Great skills. Real opportunities. five-year action plan,” Mr Langbroek said.

“The government is committed to working with industry to invest in training where it is most needed and provide graduates with more meaningful job outcomes.

“I congratulate ConocoPhillips and Central Queensland Institute of TAFE for their innovation and foresight,” he said.

The ConocoPhillips Operations Technician Foundations Training Program partnership has commenced on the existing CQIT campus with the first intake of 20 operations technicians.

The program will transition into the recently announced ‘Gladstone Energy Training Centre’ facilities following its construction.

For more information on the program can be found on the ConocoPhillips website.

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