Esso Australia and WPC Group win national award

Innovative apprenticeship training program with 100% success rate brings home national award for Esso Australia and WPC Group.
A customised mentored apprenticeship program developed by major domestic energy supplier Esso Australia and WPC Group, Australia’s leading group training organisation, has been awarded the prestigious Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award at the 2021 Australian Training Awards.

The award recognises success of the cutting-edge program which, since its inception in 2018, has hired and trained 42 apprentices and trainees across Esso Australia’s Longford and Long Island Point worksites in Gippsland, Victoria.

The program enjoys an impressive 100% apprentice retention rate – every apprentice and trainee hired through the program remains on the job with Esso Australia, with many now qualified tradespeople. 

Esso Australia Lead Country Manager Mr. Dylan Pugh was excited by the victory: “We are honoured to receive the 2021 Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award for the Esso Australia Mentored Apprenticeship Program.

“The Esso Australia-WPC Mentored Apprenticeship Program supports our ongoing supply of essential energy to Australia, while providing skilled employment opportunities to young Victorians. This valuable program is helping to develop a workforce that will be critical to securing our country’s energy future.”

 “This program has been a fantastic success for Esso Australia, facilitating a range of benefits across our organisation including improved productivity, greater workforce flexibility and cost savings, in addition to the cultural benefits that youthful enthusiasm and improved diversity brings to the workforce.”  

“I applaud the work of all involved with this program, in creating a new approach to bringing local talent into our organisation, and providing each individual with the support they need to thrive and succeed. It’s a great result for our committed staff and our broader community.”

WPC Group General Manager Andrew Sezonov was equally excited: “To be recognised at the Australian Training Awards is a fantastic honour. WPC Group is very proud of what we have been able to achieve in partnership with Esso Australia.”

“Collaborating with Esso Australia on the design and establishment of this program has been a rich and rewarding experience.

“Esso Australia operates in complex and precision-driven work environments, with highly specialised skills needs. So, this a rare opportunity to create, from scratch, a workplace-specific apprentice and trainee training program.

“To re-imagine how an apprentice and trainee training program could be structured, and incorporate new approaches to support and mentor our apprentices and trainees to succeed, and to then achieve a 100% retention rate after three years, is remarkable – and professionally rewarding for everyone involved.”

WPC Group believes this program offers a template for employers – large and small – seeking to find a solution to the enduring problems of skills shortages and apprentice and trainee retention.  

“This award is a testament to what can be achieved when employers view talent development as a strategic investment and take the time to ensure their training programs are aligned with their strategic goals.”  

The program continues to go from strength to strength, and recruitment activities are currently underway for the 2022 intake.

About the Australian Training Awards 

The Australian Training Awards recognises excellence and innovation in vocational education and training, and the stars of Australia’s skills sector. The 2021 Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award marks Esso Australia’s first victory at the Awards.  It is WPC Group’s second award, previously taking out this category in 2016 in collaboration with Nissan Australia.
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Media contact: 
ExxonMobil Australia:
Travis Parnaby
03 9261 0291, 0467 794 893