Electricity distributor Energex recently took on a further 22 apprentices in Queensland, with Energy Minister Mark Bailey praising the move.
The politician visited the organisation’s EsiTrain centre in Rocklea, Brisbane, on Friday (April 17) to meet with apprentices working at the firm and see some of their training first hand.
Energex hired the nearly two-dozen electrical fitter mechanics in mid-February, with candidates including people pursuing adult and school-based apprenticeship programs.
According to Mr Bailey, the chosen recruits represented a “cross-section of the community” and he congratulated them on making it through a comprehensive selection process.
“Currently, Energex has around 200 apprentices at various levels of their training process. In the past 10 years, more than 730 men and women have commenced apprenticeships with the business,” he stated.
“In the first six months, the apprentices will undertake trade-specific training, including time at EsiTrain and TAFE, before they begin the practical application of what they have learned.”
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk government is keen to create more opportunities for apprentices and trainees in Queensland. He added that it is important to invest in the future of the state’s workers.
Energex apprenticeships in Queensland
The Queensland government claimed Energex apprenticeships are extremely popular, with more than 1,000 applications sometimes received for the company’s available positions each year.
“This means Energex has recruited the best of the best,” Mr Bailey explained. “These jobs come with a lot of responsibility to the people of south-east Queensland.”
One of the more important duties the government expects energy employees to continue performing in the future is disaster recovery after extreme weather phenomenon.
“Our power workers have played a crucial role in dealing with disasters, such as the 2008 ‘The Gap storms’, the Queensland floods of 2011, Tropical Cyclone Oswald in 2013 and after cyclones Larry, Yasi and Marcia when they joined their country cousins, Ergon Energy, to help restore power supplies to regional Queenslanders,” said Mr Bailey.
He commented that the government’s introduction of a new payroll rebate for employers that hire apprentices and trainees would encourage more organisations to consider on-the-job training.
The government will provide $45 million worth of funding for the initiative, which offers a 25 per cent rebate on an employee’s salary once the business agrees to an apprenticeship or traineeship.
“This will encourage greater participation and give young people a foot in the door when youth unemployment remains stubbornly high,” Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt said last month after the scheme was unveiled.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator