Drilling ticket to boost locals' chances at oil and gas jobs

23:14, Dec 29 2013

The oil and gas industry can expect an injection of trained oil and gas drillers mid-2014.

New Plymouth tertiary education provider Witt has been given the go-ahead by the New Zealand Qualifications Authorityto offer a hydrocarbon drilling programme.

The Certificate in Industry Trades - Hydrocarbon Drilling qualification will begin in February 2014.

The 17-week course was developed by Witt in collaboration with the Petroleum Skills Association and employers from the oil and gas industry, to meet "the growing need for skilled workers in this sector".

Witt faculty of technology head Glen West was enthusiastic about the new course.

"In partnership with industry the programme content, structure and delivery has been developed to help reduce the skill shortage in this profession," he said.

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Students of the course will be taught core knowledge and job- related skills to enter the oil and gas industry as a trainee, entry- level driller on a rig site.

The programme will incorporate a six-week placement where students will gain experience with participating drilling companies.

Todd Energy general manager of operations Andrew Clennett said it was great that Witt was providing the training.

"For us it's about building a sustainable industry, increasing local training and job opportunities and doing what we can to help shape the future of oil and gas in a way that benefits Taranaki and New Zealand."

Several other organisations provide courses in hydrocarbon drilling in New Zealand.

They include New Plymouth's Glasgow Services and Wellington's Motor Industry Training Organisation (Mito).

Taranaki Daily News