How to attract young professionals to your industry is a question often asked by industry leaders. What makes them want to stay in an industry is often a question asked to young professionals. This is particularly so in engineering-driven sectors where economic cycles can leave a generation gap amongst members. Nikki Gravestock is one such young professional who was asked what makes her want to stay in the oil and gas industry; her response: “good industry organisations which allows the extension of professional networks outside of work, with both peers and more experienced people”. There have been different approaches with varying levels of success; however, The Young Pipeliners Forum (YPF) is one such industry organisation that has proven to work. It is an example of how to get young people engaged and involved with their peers and their leaders. “The YPF is a fantastic way for young professionals to share their pipeline experience with people from all facets of the pipeline and gas industry.” Says James Matison, YPF committee chair.
So what makes the YPF so special? The YPF is covered by the Australian Pipelines & Gas Association (APGA) and has been active in Australia for over 10 years. It is led by a volunteer committee of young professionals who organise sponsored networking events for a wide membership base. But it’s more than just networking; the YPF strikes a balance between technical and social. All YPF events are twofold: there is a serious side – sharing knowledge, experience, and lessons learned; and there is a fun side – an environment where people can get together and relax. In Perth, events are often combined with the APGA WA Chapter to encourage diversity and exposure to members whose careers’ span decades. The young learn from the more experienced, and the experienced learn from the young, and before you know it – the age gaps have been bridged and a great benefit has been achieved. Attendees take this understanding back to their place of employment, their colleagues, and their networks. “The APGA is unique, it’s like a family” says Thomas Seeber, APGA WA Chapter Committee Chair. “Members come from every area of the industry – service providers, suppliers, contractors, regulators, operators – to work together to provide safe and reliable energy for Australia”.
The 2018 YPF calendar presents another fantastic year of socialising, networking, and bridge building while enjoying the pizza and pint night, technical evenings, quiz night, site visits, and bare-foot bowls. Go to http://www.apga.org.au/ypf/ to find out more.