Six apprentices based in Toowoomba and one in Millmerran are among 85 apprentices and trainees in Ergon Energyâ€™s 2016 intake.
Megan Seigmeier, Matthew Steger, Kim Major, Matthew Reis, Jacob Parkin and Jake Crisp are the new Toowoomba apprentices, while Jordan Pettman has joined the Millmerran depot crews. The seven recruits are undergoing their initial training in Toowoomba before heading to their depots, which are among 40 locations across regional Queensland to accept new apprentices this year.
Isaac Volker and Michael Markey (Dalby), Henry Tardent and Ben Ridge (Roma), Adam Upton (St George) and Duncan McNair (Charleville) also have secured Ergon apprenticeships this year and are undergoing their initial training in Rocklea.
Acting Chief Executive Roslyn Baker said the induction of 85 apprentices and trainees this month demonstrated Ergonâ€™s commitment to providing regional Queensland with a safe and reliable electricity network now and in the future.
â€œItâ€™s vital we continue to teach and pass on the front-line expertise and skills now and into the future to deliver a safe, reliable and affordable electricity supply to customers,â€ Ms Baker said. â€œJust a year ago, we saw the importance of having a highly trained workforce when our company responded to Cyclone Marcia.â€ More than 900 field staff from Ergon and other agencies worked for almost a fortnight to restore power to about 65,000 customers early in 2015.
â€œMost of our crews begin their careers in the industry as apprentices, just like this yearâ€™s intake, and the value and reliance the community places on their work soon becomes apparent in times of natural disasters,â€ Ms Baker said. She congratulated the 2016 inductees for their success in attaining a position with Ergon from a quality field of about 2200 applicants and wished them a rewarding career.
â€œThe apprentices come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including eight indigenous applicants, 17 females breaking into the traditionally male-dominated roles and aÂ good proportion of mature-age candidates, as well as school-leavers,â€ she said.Â â€œThe newest recruits will gain skills such as communications technicians, distribution linespersons, systems electricians and transmission linespersons.
â€œSome of the new recruits will embark on tertiary studies for either an associate degree or advanced diploma qualification while undertaking their usual apprenticeship training.â€ Ms Baker said the apprentices include six employees from around the state who had successfully sought an apprenticeship to further their careers.
She said many of the recruits would work and train in their home towns, meaning they could gain valuable skills in a trade while continuing to contribute to their local community. All new apprentices receive health, safety and environmental awareness training as part of their induction before undergoing three to eight weeks of technical training, depending on their trade.
Corporate Communications Manager – Southern