QGC trainee apprentices Malinda Doyle (left) and Paetyn McAulife.
QGC trainee apprentices Malinda Doyle (left) and Paetyn McAulife. Madison Watt

Pathways for trainees

ENTERING a male dominated field can be daunting for some women, but for trainee apprentices Malinda Doyle and Paetyn McAulife, it didn't faze them in the slightest.

"It's not daunting or anything, it's quite exciting knowing that I've actually done it, like I'm female and I'm out there mixing it with all these blokes,” said Ms McAulife.

Ms Doyle and Ms McAulife are among the first recruits taking part in the Queensland Gas Company Pathways Program, aimed at retaining local talent by providing nationally recognised industry qualifications.

The program which was launched last June, attracted about 400 applicants from the Western Downs.

Chinchilla resident Ms Doyle and Dalby native Ms McAulife are two of only four women and nine men who were successful.

Ms Doyle works as a trainee store person at the Chinchilla warehouse, organising the dispatch of equipment needed by other workers.

"We send all the gear and equipment and items that they need to do the work,” she said.

Ms McAulife, who works as an apprentice mechanical fitter, said her role involved servicing the QGC plant in Ruby Jo.

"Everything that needs to be done out there, fan inspections, filter changes and anything maintenance related,” she said.

Both encourage more women to consider a trade as a career option.

"The more women the better,” said Ms McAulife.

"I would definitely encourage more women to try out all these traineeships and apprenticeships.”

Yesterday marked three months since the start of the program, with QGC vice president Tony Nunan and Western Downs deputy mayor Andrew Smith visiting Chinchilla to formally welcome the recruits.

"It's wonderful to be able to welcome thirteen locals, who grew up in the region, went to school in the region to our business,” said Mr Nunan.

"We've committed initially to five years of doing it, this was the first intake,” he said.

Mr Nunan hoped the program would help form an important relationship between the community and the company.

"The long term success of our business is really dependant on being able to get great, talented, capable people from our local communities, to be part of our business for decades to come.”

Deputy mayor Andrew Smith said it was a great opportunity for young people in the region.

"It's the beginning of a ripple effect, to have local kids, with huge opportunities within our region,” he said.

"Our communities live and die off the back of having employment,”

'To be able to see young people get these opportunities they'd normally had to go elsewhere for, get them in our own communities,”

"I think I can speak for almost every rural region in Australia, they're sick and tired of the road out of town taking our young people,”

"This is almost like a stop sign at the Western Downs saying, thirteen of our really good young kids are now working local,”

"We encourage any of these pathway type programs in our region to occur, we encourage every business with the opportunity and the capability to do it, to take part.”