February 4, 2015

Six Gippslanders have begun honing their skills in the power industry, with EnergyAustralia’s newest apprentices starting work onsite at Yallourn Power Station this week.

The four-year apprenticeship positions attracted more than 200 applicants vying for an opportunity to become boilermakers, fitters and electricians at Yallourn this year.

Candidates went through assessments including aptitude testing, practical activities and formal interviews.

The successful applicants are between 17 and 19 years old, and are from Traralgon, Heyfield, Yallourn North, Rawson and Moe. The group has been in the classroom at Federation Training’s Yallourn Campus during the past two weeks to prepare for their first week at work on site. They will continue attending regular theory classes throughout the apprenticeship.  

EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn Executive Manager Mark Pearson said the apprentices would learn skills to help set them up for a fulfilling career.

“The power industry provides jobs for thousands of people in the Latrobe Valley and is a significant part of the local economy,” Mr Pearson said.

“At EnergyAustralia, alongside our alliance partners, we believe it’s important to provide pathways for young people to enter the sector.

“It’s very pleasing that we can provide these local young people with an opportunity to kick-start their careers in a safe and supportive environment at Yallourn.

“When they graduate in four years, these apprentices will be well equipped to compete for good jobs within the power sector and other industries.”

Apprenticeship Training Coordinator George Aquilina said EnergyAustralia was focused on providing quality training and development opportunities.

 “In conjunction with excellent training from Federation Training, we provide our apprentices with the tools and knowledge to become competent tradespeople who excel in their fields,” Mr Aquilina said.

“In addition to the regular training and tasks we set apprentices, we assign a mentor who will provide one-on-one support over the four years to each apprentice.

“Mentors can give expert advice and assistance with particular tasks to ensure the apprentice succeeds. It’s one of the many strategies we employ to ensure our apprentices keep on track with their training and have support networks around them to seek additional help when they need it.”