THE NATIONAL Petroleum Company of Papua New Guinea (NPCP) has named the first two cadets in its graduate development program in what it says is a bid to create a pathway for local talent.

Graduate petroleum engineer Elliona Maso and graduate facilities engineer Zechariah Yakap won the places in the new, two-year graduate development program, which will also see them provided with ongoing mentoring and coaching.

“Toward the end of their term of training as graduates, they will be assessed, and if successful will transfer to being permanent employees of the organisation,” NPCP said in an announcement.

The graduates would also benefit from the guidance of leadership coach Luke Liria and from the technical team led by Eddie Guru, NPCP said.

NPCP has also named the first university student to be sponsored under its new education sponsorship program, being Curtin University student Eddie Lemson from Komo, in PNG’s Hela province.

“NPCP will be fully responsible for tuition fees, all living expenses and air travel tickets while in Australia and this will be paid on an annual basis,” the company said.

“His advancement from year to year will depend on academic performance and behavioural conduct throughout the academic year.”

The company had established a sponsorship plan to ensure Mr Lemson was closely monitored throughout the year and provided with enough moral and financial support, NPCP said.

“If Eddie is successful throughout his full term of studies and achieves his (bachelor’s degree), he will be granted formal employment with NPCP,” the company said.

NPCP had also welcomed process engineer Michael Putupai back to PNG after completing a Masters of Engineering in Chemical Engineering, also at Perth’s Curtin University.

Mr Putupai was supported by NPCP through the two year course, remaining as an employee during his study leave.