QCLNG: Apprentices Tony Martin and Ashley Fankhauser have gained knowledge and experience by learning on the job.
QCLNG: Apprentices Tony Martin and Ashley Fankhauser have gained knowledge and experience by learning on the job. Mara Sowden

Apprentices get set up by Bechtel with a trade for life

BECHTEL has taken on more than 100 apprentices at the QCLNG project on Curtis Island.

The significant milestone was celebrated at the camp's dining hall on Wednesday, with apprentices, their mentors and trainers receiving acknowledgement.

Mature-age apprentices Ashley Fankhauser, 27, and Tony Martin, 34, have been working on the QCLNG site.

Ashley as an apprentice boilermaker and Tony as an apprentice electrician.

Both apprentices received recognition of their prior learning and say they are learning finessing their skills on site.

Ashley is working 28 days on, seven days off, as a fly-in fly-out worker and returns home to the Gold Coast to spend time with his son during his weeks off.

He said the apprenticeship had changed his life - he wants to have a good trade behind him to save for a house.

"I'm still learning every day," he said.

"You learn good habits and bad habits - but so long as you show a willingness to learn.

"The experience I get here will set me up for life."

Former rugby league player Tony Martin returned home to Gladstone last year and picked up his apprenticeship with Bechtel.

He works 10-hour days on the island and gets to go home to his family every night.

He said the longer hours help to speed up the process.

"We do the theory in blocks and then we get to do the practical stuff here and use the knowledge straight away," he said.

"The opportunity they've given us is to be as good a tradesman as we can be."



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