13 November 2012

GE Officially Opens Skills Development Centre in Western Australia

- Center underscores GE commitment to supporting Australia’s vital LNG industry
- Australia faces critical shortage of trained, skilled workers in the resources sector 

Perth, Australia – 13 November 2012 - GE today celebrated the official opening of its Skills Development Centre in Jandakot, a suburb of Perth in Western Australia. The center is part of GE’s technology and learning facility, the largest complex of its kind in Australia and a cornerstone of GE’s commitment to support the growth of the country’s resources industry, including the dynamic liquefied natural gas (LNG) production sector.

Today’s ceremony was attended by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who officially opened the new facility, and other leading government officials; GE executives including Steve Sargent, president and CEO of GE Australia and New Zealand; Dan Heintzelman, president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas; David Leslie, general manager, GE Oil & Gas Australia and New Zealand; and representatives of leading oil and gas companies that operate in the region.

As a global company with a strong regional focus, Perth has become our regional hub supplying best-in-class technology and industry expertise to build and equip mega-resource projects in Australia and the Asia Pacific region,” Heintzelman said. “In collaboration with the Australian government and private sector, we are making a significant investment in skills and development training to help address the Australian skills shortage. These types of investments are helping to make Australia a world leader not only in production, but in oil and gas talent and expertise as well.” 

“By establishing the GE Skills Development Centre, we are helping our customers in the region provide essential training to increase the productivity of their workforces,” Sargent said. ”We are committed to training more than 300 people a year at the center, delivering accredited training programs locally that otherwise would have been available only offshore. This means that our employees and our customers’ employees are gaining transferrable skills that will follow them wherever they work.”

The center will provide training across a range of sectors in which GE works, including oil and gas, healthcare, power generation, mining and transportation. It features state-of-the-art classrooms and an experimental workshop that provides students with a hands-on learning environment. The center is the result of collaboration among industry associations, government and leading businesses to create a “Community of Technical Best Practices” for the oil and gas industry. Companies involved included Chevron, Woodside, Conoco Phillips and Navitas.

Australia faces a critical shortage of trained, skilled workers in the resources sector to meet this demand. The government has forecast that around 70,000 skilled jobs need to be created in Western Australia alone to meet the demands of that sector.

The Jandakot facility is part of a regionalization approach that GE is deploying around the world, with major technology and service centers in such locations as Brazil and the Middle East. Through service and training centers and other support facilities, GE brings its latest technology, global expertise and training capabilities closer to its customers in the world’s most important energy markets.

GE Oil & Gas is a world leader in advanced technology equipment and services for all segments of the oil and gas industry. GE Oil & Gas employs more than 35,000 people worldwide and operates in more than 100 countries. 

Source: GE