Our History

History of ESQ


In late 2007, the Queensland Utilities and Services Industry Training Advisory Body was restructured to become Energy Skills Queensland (ESQ), a Centre for Energy Excellence in Workforce Planning, Development and Skilling for the energy and telecommunications industries.

As a not-for-profit entity, Energy Skills Queensland spearheaded a collaborative approach with industry and governments calling out skill shortages and skilling needs. It quickly cemented itself as an important independent agency, brokering over $30 million of training funds in the first five years for industry to upskill existing workers and job seekers. It is not a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Over the past decade, Energy Skills Queensland has amassed a strong network of key industry players, government agencies, contractors and corporate groups who work in partnership to provide workforce solutions. Complementing this, Energy Skills Queensland developed and manages workforce competency management systems including SkillPASS which now assists over 15,000 workers with recording and maintaining their compliance requirements.

Energy Skills Queensland is dedicated to driving collaboration, cooperation and communication across industries to ensure their strong, safe and sustainable future in the energy sector.

Energy Skills Queensland experienced great success during its first year of operation, coinciding with the global financial crisis (GFC). Unfortunately, the GFC impacted apprenticeship commencements across all energy sectors. Energy Skills Queensland foresaw this challenge and worked to establish an energy brokerage for a Productivity Places Program. By the end of 2008/9, Energy Skills Queensland had secured almost $3M in funding from the Queensland Department of Education and Training to develop and fund higher level qualifications for existing workers within the energy industry.

In 2009/10 Energy Skills Queensland cemented its position as a leader in facilitating and driving a collaborative approach to workforce planning and development. Most notably, it began to roll out the Productivity Places Program Brokerage and successfully brokered another $10M in training funds to upskill existing workers and job seekers for the broader energy and telecommunications industry.

During 2010/11, Energy Skills Queensland continued work on the Productivity Places Program. The team brokered nearly $15M in training funds and trained over three thousand people in high demand skill areas. In October 2010, Energy Skills Queensland commenced the CSG Drilling Skills Program which was a huge success and Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) granted an extension for a second year.

Across this period, Energy Skills Queensland continued to successfully secure industry funding, and implement skilling strategies for industry. It secured a $10M fund for a coal seam and liquefied natural gas training. The team also brokered more than $12.8m in Productivity Places Program funding.

Energy Skills Queensland also implemented a number of industry skilling programs and strategies, including the CSG Drilling Skills program, Gladstone Workforce Skilling Strategy, Electrotechnology Pre-apprenticeship Program, Queensland Workforce Skilling Strategy and the Telecommunications New Entrant Training Program.

In 2012/13, Energy Skills Queensland began expanding services to the mining sector. The team successfully integrated the Generic Safety Induction platform and specialist staff into its business. It redeveloped the GI safety program through extensive consultation with industry to provide a centralised, standardised and high-quality program to equip resource workers with core risk assessment and safety skills to operate safely on work sites.

During this year, Energy Skills Queensland was contracted by the Queensland Government for another year to deliver a range of workforce planning and development services to industry under its Skills Body Agreement.

Throughout 2013/14, Energy Skills Queensland continued to focus on ensuring industry had the quality and quantities of skilled workers needed to deliver what customers were demanding. It supported industry through pre-apprenticeship strategies such as the QWSS Project and Electrotechnology Pre-Apprenticeship Strategy. These strategies delivered training to 146 participants and achieved a 72% employment outcome.

During this year, Energy Skills Queensland released the SkillPASS strategy and worked with the Gas industry to implement the competency management card across the drilling and completions sector.

2014/15 was a challenging year that impacted all members of Energy Skills Queensland, resulting in the closure of the Rockhampton and Bundaberg branches. The organisation began to renew itself overcoming some key challenges, and achieving even greater success with the SkillPASS initiative. Energy Skills Queensland also hosted a number of events to support industry, including the Innovation and Business Skills Australia Workshop, and a human resources leader forum called ‘The Top 15 HR Metrics You Need to Know.’

During this year, Energy Skills Queensland also produced the first discussion paper in Electrotechnology (A Changing Electricity Industry) highlighting the workforce implications of smarter technology.

During 2015/16, Energy Skills Queensland achieved the fifteen-thousandth SkillPASS holder helping manage, track, comply and report competencies to primary contractors across the industry. Energy Skills Queensland also completed sixteen industry leader and training forums across industry. With funding assistance from Department of Education and Training (DET), Energy Skills Queensland facilitated training for nearly one hundred and fifty participants in the Indigenous Funding Pool Program, achieving eighty-six employment outcomes.

In 2016/17, Energy Skills Queensland continued to assist industry through the Queenslanders Workforce Skilling Strategy with over two-hundred participants in telecommunications and rail infrastructure. Energy Skills Queensland was also offered a Vocational Training and Employment Centres Contract to provide training to Indigenous job seekers.

In 2017/18, Energy Skills Queensland rolled out SkillPASS to two more significant industry players within the Gas and Oil industry, Santos and APA. Throughout the year Energy Skills Queensland with its partners, have been providing the need for an alternative pathway for young apprentices. We were pleased to gain the initial support of Construction Skills Queensland in preparing for a significant effort in the coming financial year.

Finally Energy Skills Queensland partnered with Energy Queensland in their ‘Mates in Energy’ initiative to raise awareness for mental health.