AUSTRALIA

GE supersizes skills offering

ONE of the world's most powerful women lent serious punch to the opening ceremony of a new GE skills centre in Perth, with VIP guest Julia Gillard driving home the importance of solving Australia's skills crisis.

GE supersizes skills offering

The prime minister was a special guest at the ceremony for the new centre in suburban Jandakot, where about 300 people a year will undertake accredited training programs that would otherwise have to be taken offshore.

Importantly, the centre will receive input from major industry players such as Chevron, Woodside, ConocoPhillips and Navitas.

It also had input from the federal government, with the government and private sector combining to create a "Community of Technical Best Practices" for the oil and gas industry, from which the centre and training program was born.

Chief executive of GE Australia & New Zealand Dan Heintzelman said the centre and associated training program was proof GE was dedicated to building local skills.

"In collaboration with the Australian government and private sector, we are making a significant investment in skills and development training to help address the Australia skills shortage," he said in a statement.

"These types of investments are helping to make Australia a world leader in not only production, but in oil and gas talent and expertise as well."

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