The Northern Territory Training Awards celebrate the achievements of Territorians in the VET sector and recognise the outstanding contribution made by our local trainees, apprentices, employers and training providers.

INPEX and Ventia's TRACE team received the Industry Collaboration of the Year award recognising our efforts to support our apprentices during COVID-19 restrictions.

Ventia's joint venture with Actemium, TRACE, provides maintenance services to the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG onshore processing facilities. 

In the past three years TRACE has provided 17 apprenticeship opportunities, making TRACE one of the Territory's primary employers of apprentices.

With many apprentices undertaking Mechanical and Electrical apprenticeships at the time, it was important to continue their training during COVID-19 restrictions.

The precautionary measures taken to protect our workforce during COVID-19 restrictions limited the ability of our apprentices to continue learning in their usual environments. These challenges were further compounded with the closure of Charles Darwin University where our apprentices attend their classes.

During this period, TRACE worked with INPEX and Group Training Northern Territory to temporarily outplace our apprentices with local contracting partners Winnellie Hydraulics, Callidus Process Solutions, Combined Electrical as well as Ventia's Defence Services team in Darwin to provide our apprentices with meaningful exposure to their chosen trades.

Ventia's TRACE Site Manager Simon MacLeod believes the unique approach to sharing apprentices benefited not just the apprentices but also Ventia.

"By helping young people in the region gain the work experience they need to work in industries like oil and gas, and infrastructure services more broadly, we are equipping them with skills, talents and experiences that will give them opportunities for the rest of their lives."

As a local company we rely on the relationships we build with local businesses and providing diverse learning opportunities for our apprentices by working with our local contracting partners benefits everyone.

Max Nicholson, General Manager at Winnellie Hydraulics and Nelson Baptista, Operations Manager at Callidus Process Solutions are confident that time spent at their businesses will have a lasting impact on our apprentices.

"Winnellie Hydraulics maintains tooling that is utilised by the TRACE team every day. Giving the apprentices inside exposure to processes involved in dismantling, rebuilding and certifying broadens their understanding and appreciation of the tools they will use every day", said Max from Winnellie.

Nelson from Callidus Process Solutions further supported the apprentices spending time with other businesses saying it broadens their understanding and practical application in the workplace.

"We had mechanical apprentices spend time in our workshop learning how to strip and build Valve Units - something they are likely to remove and replace regularly throughout their careers - providing a practical understanding of the mechanisms involved and hands-on experience working with them."

During COVID-19 restrictions industry collaborations were essential in the continual learning for our apprentices. This award demonstrates the valuable exposure and experience our apprentices received because of positive industry collaboration.

INPEX's Onshore Implementation Manager, Mark Wilson, said:

INPEX and TRACE are very proud to be supporting local apprentices with industry partners through the rotation placement program. Everyone from the contracting partners to our apprentices have agreed this is a win-win situation - it is creating additional capacity for local businesses and our apprentices are learning life skills in new work environments and building important networks.

"This award is exciting, it shows when working together plus supporting local industries what we can achieve, even when confronted with difficult situations. Special thanks to Stuart Miles and Mark Wilson for their hard work over the years to establish our apprenticeship program and to Hannah-Rose Mackie at Group Training Northern Territory for her effort coordinating our apprentice program," said Ventia's Simon MacLeod.

In addition to this award, another TRACE apprentice, Chynna Chadderton was recognised as a finalist by the Apprentice Employment Network as one of the top five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Apprentice/Trainee of the Year. Chynna is currently completing a Certificate III in Business, providing valuable office support services for our TRACE team in Perth. 


Top image: Back row: Mark Wilson (INPEX), Nicky Maxwell (Ventia) and Simon Macleod (Ventia). 
Front row: Hannah-Rose Mackie (Ventia), Matthew Cubis (Ventia) and Eddie Clarke (Ventia)