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Media Releases, 20 April 2021

EMPNG is Advancing Skills for the New Generation

 EMPNG is Advancing Skills for the New Generation
Left to right: Elevated Work Platform Operator Makeria Yale, Elevated Work Platform Operator Ekape Ayule, Trade Assistant Welder and Fabricator Dickson Mulupe, Chain Saw Operator and Wood Chipper Operator In-Training Handape Kambara, and Elevated Work Platform Operator Lemape Pawa.

With a firm commitment to capacity building and development, ExxonMobil PNG is working together with landowner companies to identify promising individuals in its workforce and provide them with a variety of training to advance their skill sets. 

“We’re always looking for the people who stand out, the people who we think could take on new tasks and we provide them with the training to help them do that,” explains Bradley Boekeman, Maintenance and Construction Lead for the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant (HGCP). 

“One of the things we aim for on the Project is to advance people’s skills because it has multiple benefits – not only are we advancing the capacity of individuals, but we’re also maximising opportunities for employment and the whole operation benefits as a result.

 “By up-skilling multiple people in different roles, they become interchangeable and can work on different teams as needed. We have to remember – the PNG LNG Project is a Papua New Guinean operation. In the future, some of these trainees will end up in supervisory roles,” Boekeman explained.

Meet five promising individuals who work for the HGDC Energy Services Limited (HESL), a subsidiary of the Hides Gas Development Company (HGDC) that have undergone training with ExxonMobil PNG.

Makeria Yale, Elevated Work Platform Operator, HESL

“When I was told that the ExxonMobil PNG Maintenance team wanted me to do scaffolding and rigging, I was very surprised. I had been a grass-cutter for two years and I never imagined that I would actually work to help with operations. I was very nervous when they sent me to the Verification of Competency training - I never went to school and this was the first time I was being trained in anything formally. I knew I had to step up to the challenge. It was so exciting to learn and now I just want to learn more. I guess they selected me because I’m a hard worker. Even from my first day as a grass-cutter, I knew this was a big opportunity - there aren’t many jobs in Hides so I knew I had to prove myself. EMPNG management recognised this and they have helped me to grow. I feel proud of what I have achieved and I’m excited to keep on learning and growing.”

Lemape Pawa, Elevated Work Platform Operator, HESL

“This is my father’s land. When the Project came, we were excited because we knew it would bring opportunities that we hadn’t seen before. I completed Grade 3 at Para Primary School but then the school closed because of tribal fighting and I never thought I would have any formal training again. In 2014 I started working as a grass-cutter and tree trimmer for HESL. This is my area so I knew I had to work hard and show the quality of my people. In 2017 I was selected for the elevated work platform training and I felt so proud. I learned how to put together scaffolding, do rigging, and I even got my driver’s license so I could help with the forklift. It feels so good to work as part of a strong team and with the skills I’ve learned, I know I could branch out and find work in other places if I wanted to. Now I just want to keep on learning and maybe one day I can become a heavy equipment operator. I never imagined I would have this chance, but if you work hard and do your best, great things can happen.”

Ekape Ayule, Elevated Work Platform Operator, HESL

“I started working with HESL as a grass-cutter in 2014. I was only a casual labourer, but it was important to me – there aren’t a lot of job opportunities in Hides and I knew this was my chance. I never missed a day, I concentrated on what I was doing, and I worked hard. In 2019, management recognised my efforts and they put me through training to become an elevated work platform operator as a permanent employee. Now I know how to do rigging, scaffolding, and even how to operate the wood chipper. I only finished Grade 4 in Komo and I didn’t think these opportunities would be possible for me. When I go home, I feel happy, I feel good about the work I’ve done, and I look forward to what’s coming next. I’m inspired to keep learning. Even though I wasn’t able to finish school, I can now give my children this opportunity.”

Dickson Mulupe, Trade Assistant Welder and Fabricator, HESL

“Years ago I worked as an assistant welder in Mt Hagen but when the PNG LNG Project started, I knew it was something I wanted to be part of. It’s the largest project in the country and it has opened up so many opportunities for different people. I started working for HESL in 2014 as a spotter, helping the vehicles come and go safely. After a couple of years, I decided to approach management and told them I had experience in being a trade assistant for welding. They responded very positively and I started on-the-job training almost immediately. Now I do welding, grinding, and help with the maintenance of equipment. The management team has been very supportive – they recognise the skills you have and they put you in the right place. I’ve learned so much here, about how to work on a team and how to practice good safety. Here we learn how to take care of each other. I feel very proud to be part of this team.”

Handape Kambara, Chain Saw Operator and Wood Chipper Operator In-Training, HESL

“When I started working as a grass-cutter for HESL in 2017, I wanted this job to support my family. It’s the first formal job I’ve ever had. Before this I used to work the land, growing vegetables and selling them at the market to buy the few things my family and I needed. I worked really hard. Then one day, I had all my equipment on and was just about to start my shift, when my manager told me to drop everything – I had been selected to do the Verification of Competency training. I was so surprised. Now I’m in training to learn how to use the wood chipper and how to work at heights. I think the Company supports our development – I see how the people who came before me have moved on to better jobs and I think that can happen for me too. Whatever job it is, I’ll do it. I want to learn more and step up like the other people around me, to keep advancing myself.”