Relearning old skills to support our Indigenous Pre-Pathway trainees

Many of our trainees and apprentices can’t be on-site in the current environment and so, our Training Services team are ‘thinking outside the box’ to step up our engagement with our people to ensure that their training stays on track and that they are being supported.

One example is Training Coordinator, Karthi Zis, who has gone above and beyond to support eight of our Indigenous Pre-Pathway trainees who started their Certificate II in Engineering in February.

The Indigenous Pre-Pathway program, currently run in Karratha, Darwin and Gladstone, is designed to give applicants exposure to the oil and gas industry to prepare them for a higher-level apprenticeship or traineeship leading to a long-term career opportunity.

The program includes soft skills and life skills that prepares the participants for work in the energy sector. On completion, participants gain a Certificate II qualification and more importantly, site experience and an opportunity to build relationships with personnel on-site.

After five weeks of formal training at TAFE, the trainees completed just under two weeks of on-the-job training at Woodside’s Karratha Gas Plant before their on-site training was suspended due to COVID-19.

To maintain a similar routine to what would have been experienced on-site for our trainees, Karthi co-ordinates an 8am meeting every day with the group via video conferencing covering Woodside’s prestart and systems.

All trainees contribute with SAFEcard (See, Assess, Fix, Encourage) submissions each day. This is to get them thinking about safety around the home, as well as celebrating success for safe behaviours. There are also ‘Fun Friday’ quizzes on Woodside’s Golden Safety Rules and our Safety Culture.

Karthi has even conducted math training in preparation for the second block of TAFE training – Perform Calculations. Karthi is not a math teacher but has been relearning the content herself so that she can educate the trainees. She is also providing one-on-one math tutoring support when required.

Our trainees are very hands-on and initially were concerned about learning from home. They have successfully navigated the challenges of working with family at home and not having access to laptops and/or WIFI for some. As such, the group are working out of workbooks and relying heavily on mobile phones.

Karthi Zis indicated that she is ‘very proud of how these trainees have undertaken this change and committed to the daily routine and tasks at hand.’

West Operations Manager David Hilliard said ‘To keep these guys engaged and dialling in every day, is testament to the relationships Karthi has built with the Certificate II Engineering Pre-Pathways Trainees. Absolutely phenomenal effort!’


If you’re looking for people and would like to partner with a company who supports its teams to think creatively to best meet your needs, contact us.

Or, are you looking to create a career pathway through a traineeship or apprenticeship? Browse opportunities here.


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About Programmed


Programmed is a leading provider of operations and maintenance services across Australia and New Zealand. Our business model is built around our ability to recruit, deploy, manage and maintain a large, directly employed workforce of professional, skilled and semi-skilled staff with a wide range of capabilities. We are proud to efficiently serve more than 10,000 customers every day.

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