Fitter-welder to process operator

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Former fitter-welder Jeffrey Ireland used the opportunity to retrain as a process operator at WITT Te Pūkenga as an opportunity to return to his hometown of Taranaki and get a job in the energy sector.

“I was a FIFO worker in the mines in Western Australia and my partner spotted the course and saw it as a way to get us home and into a good job,” says WITT Te Pūkenga graduate Jeffrey Ireland.

Ireland studied the process operations course in 2020 and took every opportunity that was offered on the programme to try things, ask questions and connect with others. He was promptly offered work as an Operator Technician with Todd Energy at the Kapuni site at the end of the programme.

“Taking six to eight months off work was a bit of a gamble but what came from it made it worth it.”

Ireland says the change has been worth it and he is enjoying the energy industry and being back in New Zealand.

“It’s a great industry, the money is good, there are plenty of good people, a chance to keep learning on the job - I enjoy every aspect of the role.”

The six-month training programme was developed by the energy industry in conjunction with WITT Te Pūkenga and features work placements. The qualification develops students’ knowledge and skills for entry-level employment as process operators and people can transition into various energy-related industries such as electricity, geothermal, chemical processing, oil and gas production, energy and chemical plant and dairy production plants.

The next intake for the Certificate in Energy Process Operations starts on 20 March 2023 (successful applicants are required to attend a three-day health and safety course at WITT from 15 to 17 March). 

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