While in Perth last week I caught up with some old work colleagues at a couple of excellent training facilities providing theoretical and practical training for the energy sector.

You cannot beat real life, dynamic practical training which reflect various day to day and emergency scenarios, now I’m talking about training off site here, not on-the-job training.  This type of training not only assists in converting theoretic knowledge and concepts into skills and competence. It also enables development of communication, teamwork and resilience to stress.

I still remember when I shut down an Induced Draft Fan on a large scale supercritical boiler/ turbine unit, tripping the unit and shutting down power supplies. However it was on a training simulator, lesson learnt, learning adjusted and reapplied and the memory of the lesson is still with me (in a positive way – I can still sleep at night).

When you walk around an LNG facility or a power plant it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the complexity of the spaghetti of pipework and volume of equipment to learn and understand.  By learning on high tech equipment, replicating an industrial environment, feeling the heat, or noise or tension in a safe, controlled and monitored environment is priceless. 

I always get a sense of satisfaction when new trainees walk around for the first time and that daunting look in their eyes turns to understanding and appreciation of the value of well structured and phased learning over time. 

The Australian Centre for Energy & Process Training (ACEPT) and the ERG facility are two examples of excellent (and growing) high class facilities. Great training aids, excellent instructors and clear focus on the end result – trained, competent and capable energy sector workforce personnel.