Origin kick start local careers
IT'S no secret many young people are forced to leave the Western Downs in search of career opportunities these days.
Losing the younger generation affects local clubs and organisations, the region's economy and ultimately the future of the community.
For local apprentices Brad Gauld and Braden Ries, securing a job at Origin's Surat Basin gas operations delivers more than a positive career opportunity - they get to live and work in their communities.
21-year-old Brad, from Drillham just west of Miles, commenced his Mechanical Fitter apprenticeship with Origin in 2016.
"I wanted a job in my local area and I was keen to work on more than just cars and farm machinery," Brad said.
"Now I work on some pretty big equipment maintaining our gas plants and I haven't touched a car since I've been here!
"It also means I can continue to live in my local community and perhaps buy my own property in the area in future."
First year instrumentation and electrical apprentice Braden Ries agrees.
18-year-old Ries was part of this year's apprentice intake and has had an interest in electrical trades since his first taste of gas industry work in the 'Try-a-Trade' program in Year 10 at Chinchilla State High School.
"Most students in my year went on to university or jobs with small, local companies," Mr Ries said.
"There's plenty to learn and lots of work which is why I chose the gas industry - it means I've got a future here and I get to stay in town instead of chasing a job in the city."
Six local apprentices from across the Surat Basin have started with Origin this year working in instrumentation and electrical, mechanical fitter and Wellsite operation roles.
In partnership with MIGAS, Origin will be holding more community information sessions in Chinchilla, Miles and Roma over the coming months.
Origin's Condabri, Talinga and Orana General Manager, Alexandra Kennedy-Clark, said the sessions will support trainees to apply for the 2020 apprentice intake.
"Providing local jobs for apprentices enables us to share the benefits in the communities where we operate," Ms Kennedy Clarke said.
"From about July to September this year we'll be working with MIGAS again to select our next round of apprentices.
"They'll start work with us in January next year, taking our total apprentice intake to 21 under this program."