St James resident, Adam Selby, has had a boost to his career prospects in the oil and gas industry after being named Challenger TAFE’s Trainee of the Year and Student of the Year.
Since completing his traineeship at the College’s Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) in Munster, Adam has secured a permanent position as a process plant operator on Woodside’s Northern Endeavour platform.
A refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanic by trade, Adam chose to enrol at ACEPT after wanting a career in a more challenging work environment.
“My original trade meant I spent most days working in a reactive service role, where I would be told what the problem was and have to fix it,” he explained.
“The ACEPT traineeship offered me an opportunity to develop a more operations-based career, that involved trouble-shooting and where safety considerations and maintaining a facility’s integrity is paramount.”
Learning the procedures and application of process plant equipment on a modern Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel was one of the highlights of Adam’s Certificate III in Process Plant Operations traineeship, as it exposed him to a range of duties in the industry.
“I not only learnt how to control a process plant operation, but I was also involved in utility and hotel services, ship ballast control and stability, as well as vessel integrity and hull management,” he continued.
“And by being integrated into a small and highly-skilled team at Woodside, I was able to refine my analytical and logical problem solving skills to determine the cause of and solution to malfunctions.”
As Adam establishes himself in the oil and gas industry, he has big ambitions for his future career and hopes to get involved in Australia’s first FLNG (Floating Liquefied Natural Gas) project.
“Woodside’s Sunrise Field in the Timor Sea is something I’d love to be a part of, because I’d love to experience the commissioning side of a new project,” he said.
Adam’s plans for the future include undertaking further training in order to build on his current skills and ensure he has a solid future in the sector.
“Woodside’s Learning Management System is mapped to Challenger TAFE, which made the process of completing my Certificate III much easier,” he explained.
“And I can now complete the units for the Certificate IV in Process Operations via on-the-job learning and correspondence. If I want to move into panel operation, duty technician and ultimately supervisory roles, I’ll need this additional training.
Adam is also keen to achieve a training and assessment qualification, so I can be considered for opportunities as a Workplace Assessor.
“I have to keep training if I want to push myself further in my career, and I also want to mentor new trainees, so it’s good to remind myself what it’s like to learn new skills,” he said.
Adam is particularly appreciative of the support he received from ACEPT’s lecturing staff, especially Roger Gray and Brian Acreman.
“They taught me more than the operational skills I needed to know, they also introduced me to the tools I needed to plan projects and successfully undertake tasks in a methodical manner,” he said.
Managing Director of Challenger TAFE, Liz Harris, explained that Adam was selected as a winner of the two awards due to his enormous knowledge of and passion for his industry.
“Adam’s thirst for learning and growth is exemplary. He has a keen desire to help others by mentoring and passing on his learning and experience to new apprentices who are moving into the field. He is a credit to his employers, to industry and of course to Challenger TAFE,” she said.
The Trainee of the Year award is sponsored by APPEA (Australian Petroleum Production Exploration Association). The Student of the Year award is sponsored by Lenovo.