A KEY union has criticised an announcement by Bechtel on Tuesday that it will create 400 adult apprenticeship positions.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union described the initiative as a "sugar hit", saying it will not meet the state's long-term training needs.
AMWU assistant state secretary Rohan Webb said there were not enough apprenticeships being created for young people.
"Large companies like Bechtel must invest in new and proper apprenticeships," Mr Webb said.
Bechtel Gladstone manager Kevin Berg said the adult apprenticeship initiative was not a "singular answer" to the skills shortage, but is one of many.
Bechtel would also continue continue its apprenticeships for young people entering the industry.
The adult apprenticeships created by Bechtel will go to workers with existing skills and experience but have never become fully qualified.