Established in Victoria in 1982, WPC Group is a not-for-profit Group Training Organisation recognised as one of Australia’s largest specialist employers of apprentices and trainees. Esso Australia Pty Ltd (EAPL) has operated a range of businesses throughout the oil and gas sector in Australia since the 1920s. In 2017, EAPL approached WPC Group about starting an apprenticeship program at two of its major production sites, Longford and Long Island Point.
Despite the scale of EAPL's operations, neither site operated a structured apprentice or trainee program to recruit and develop talent. After enlisting WPC Group’s expertise, the two parties collaborated to design and launch the WPC Group - EAPL mentored apprenticeship program, a training program customised to the particular industrial needs of EAPL’s Longford and Long Island Point plants.
WPC Group and EAPL engaged a rigorous design process before launching the mentored apprenticeship program, consulting with internal stakeholders across the organisation. This process contributed to the success of the unique program by tailoring the program to the business and giving stakeholders a sense of ownership of and responsibility for the success of the program.
Since commencing the first cohort of the WPC Group - EAPL mentored apprenticeship program in 2018, the program has enjoyed a 100% apprentice and trainee retention rate and expanded beyond its initial scope to include additional occupations and worksites.