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Renewable energy development boosts jobs in Queensland

Ergon Energy has announced plans to ramp up its renewable energy activities, which is expected to increase job opportunities in Queensland.

The company will be buying 150 megawatts of renewable energy from regional Queensland and is looking for partnerships with established businesses within the sector.

Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said Ergon’s plans will provide a significant boost for employment across a range of sectors. He added that this is just part of the Queensland government’s agenda for enhancing the state’s renewable energy prospects.

“This will mean new construction projects, jobs in regional areas, and getting on with building our renewable future,” he stated. “Leveraging new solar, wind and hydro opportunities will create further jobs across the state during construction and ongoing maintenance.”

Adding economic value

Ian McLeod, Ergon Energy chief executive, said sustainable energy is already popular across Australia. One in five households in the country currently use solar power to meet at least some of their energy needs, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.

Mr McLeod said renewable energy already contributes 10 per cent of the total electricity to Queensland’s grid, and his organisation predicts this figure is only going to get larger as more industries get involved.

For example, the state’s sugar industry generates a significant amount of renewable energy – the equivalent of $45.7 million of economic input across the sector.

Ergon Energy is currently seeking detailed submissions from businesses in Queensland that can help the organisation meet its sustainability targets. Interested parties were urged to download the appropriate documentation from the Ergon Energy Retail website once an Expression of Interest was released.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Ergon’s focus on expanding its services could also have a positive impact on apprenticeships and traineeships at the company. The organisation has a long-running history of taking on applicants for on-the-job training opportunities across a variety of roles.

Applications for the company’s 2016 intake of apprentices and trainees have now closed, although the recruitment process for 2017 will begin in July or August next year.

There are many trades available at Ergon Energy, including electrotechnology technicians, communications technicians, distribution linepersons and mechanic fitters.

The company also promotes its career paths framework, which encourages apprentices to remain at the organisation after the completion of their placement. Ergon claims that many of its executives, senior managers and team leaders were originally apprentices or trainees.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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