The new recruits, Robert Creasey, Michael Noden and James Dearnaley, come from a variety of backgrounds and have a strong interest in the oil and gas industry. They are employed by Apprenticeships Group Australia under the refinery’s traineeship program.
Altona Refinery Training Coordinator Mark Duke welcomed the new operator trainees and said the refinery is a valuable employer in Melbourne’s west.
“We play an important role in Victoria’s fuel supply chain and significantly contribute to the economy by providing high-skilled employment for around 350 people, supporting suppliers and industrial customers, as well producing refined fuel products essential to everyday life.
“Over the past five years, we have invested more than $400 million in improving the safety, reliability and capability of our operations at Altona Refinery. Investment in technology saw us increase the refining capacity of the refinery in 2017 from 80,000 to 90,000 barrels of refined fuel products per day, so there is plenty of work here to keep us going,” he said.
Robert Creasey, who has worked on offshore platforms in Bass Strait previously, said he is excited to have the opportunity to be working at Altona Refinery.
“I’ve always had an interest in the industry and I’ve aspired to work at Altona Refinery for many years. Everyone has been very helpful and taken time to outline processes and how things work,” he said.
Michael Noden, a mechanical plumber by trade, said the role of an operator is a job with great responsibility.
“I haven’t worked in the oil and gas industry previously, and in the professional sense this role is very interesting. It’s fantastic to see so many people with many decades of experience at Altona Refinery and I’m looking forward to learning from everyone,” he said.
James Dearnaley has previously worked as an accountant and a carpenter and says the appeal of working as an operator is that every day brings something different.
“It is a mentally challenging job, but the culture is very supportive. It feels like a family environment with everyone working as a team,” he said.