Thermal Generators set up staff for the future with Thomson Bridge’s Legacy Skills program

Coal & Gas Fired Power Stations take on Thomson Bridge Legacy Skills programs, issuing nationally accredited qualifications to their people who have spent their working careers in power stations.  


'When our people walk out the gate for the last time, we want to know that we have taken care of them by issuing everyone with qualifications to formally recognise their skills’, said John Atkin HR Manager ENGIE on the Thomson Bridge Legacy Skills program taken on as part of the shutdown process of the Kwinana Power Station in Western Australia.  

Australia’s energy system is undergoing a once-in-a-lifetime transformation as the Australian Energy Market transitions from coal fired generation to a broader technology mix of thermal, renewables, battery storage and distributed energy generation. 

Coal-fired generators are aging and many of the biggest thermals across the country have broadcast their closure timelines over the next decade.

This was heralded by Northern Power Station in Port Augusta in 2016, followed by Latrobe Valley’s Hazelwood in 2017. AGL Energy’s Liddell plant in NSW is set to close in 2022-23, followed by Delta’s Vales Point plant which is scheduled to close in 2029, then Origin Energy’s Eraring in 2032 and AGL’s Bayswater two years later.


As these coal-fired power stations are looking at closures, employers are wanting to take care of their workforce and are seeking to recognise career achievements of their employees by having nationally accredited qualifications issued to their people who have spent their working careers in power stations.

“In November alone Thomson Bridge has issued 49 qualifications achieved through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process to power station operators, highlighting the commitment of thermal power stations in setting their staff up for the future” said Lisa Parkinson, Managing Director of Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) training, consulting and compliance specialist, Thomson Bridge. 

“The time is right to do this because coal-fired power stations will be closing down. It makes sense to recognise people’s skills and qualifications and it’s much easier to do it when they are still within their work environment. RPL requires evidence, so when we undertake this process within their working environment, we still have access to the information we need. We look at their skills and map evidence to the nationally accredited qualification requirements.” said Parkinson.



Thomson Bridge’s Legacy Skills program gives people formal skill recognition via qualifications that are recognisable anywhere in Australia.


Thomson Bridge is undertaking a Legacy Skills program for the recognition of competencies for power station operators nationally. This Legacy Skills program provides a recognition of prior learning (RPL) pathway for the achievement of the following qualifications by experienced power station operators:

Certificate III in ESI Generation – Operations

Certificate IV in ESI Generation – Operations

Diploma of ESI Generation – Operations

Thomson Bridge has developed a streamlined process for managing this RPL process. Through initial discussions with each power station, Thomson Bridge’s subject matter experts will identify the units of competency which most closely align with the skills, experience and knowledge of the workforce at each power station. We then provide a tailored RPL kit which outlines the evidence to be collected for each operator, aligning to the requirements of the selected nationally recognised qualification. This streamlined process reduces the burden on individual power station operators and human resources departments by ensuring that the evidence requested is relevant to operations of each specific power station.

This Legacy Skills program has extensive support from industry and power stations nationally operated by Origin Energy, Delta Electricity, Energy Australia and ENGIE.

This program is managed within Thomson Bridge by our subject matter experts who are experienced trainers and assessors with over 40 years of experience within power stations from Electrical Operator through to Production Manager, and quality assurance oversight provided by a former Principal Regulatory Officer and Acting Manager of Regulatory Operations for the Australian Skills Quality Authority. 

Thomson Bridge has implemented similar programs including the award of qualifications to staff prior to the closure of Port Augusta’s, Northern Power Station in 2016, which recognised the achievements of many workers who had spent their working lives at this station.

Other programs have been implemented at AGL Energy’s coal, gas and hydro facilities, Stanwell Corporation in Queensland and currently underway at Energy Australia’s Yallourn Power Station in Victoria.

These Legacy Skills programs align with all State Government’s Renewable Energy Action plans.

Click here for further information on our RPL Programs and find out more about our services to Thermal Generators here. 

or contact one of our Training Services Coordinators on 1300 15 66 85
or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

About Thomson Bridge

Thomson Bridge is helping organisations meet the demands of the energy market transition with development of a skilled workforce operating with safe and consistent work practices, meeting regulatory compliance and audit readiness.

We are a national provider of ESI training and electrical consulting services, developing essential electrical skills and safety leadership across renewable and thermal generation, transmission, distribution and rail networks, infrastructure, HV operations, control room and the powergrid interface.

Our national team of ESI professionals, engineers and learning & development (L&D) specialists are committed to assisting our clients and their staff operate safely and skilfully at their work sites and control rooms across Australia, meeting workforce compliance and regulatory standards.

Our Subject Matter Experts bring a depth of knowledge, ability to communicate, and demonstrated safety leadership. They are passionate about passing on to new generations of energy workers how to assess hazards, determine and evaluate risks and implement sound decisions to operate safely, for themselves, their work party, and the network.

Our training is founded on industry best practice and delivers improved essential electrical skills and safety leadership with over 150 courses, learning management and RTO services and learning systems offered nationally.