Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey visited the Energex EsiTrain centre at Rocklea, Brisbane, in April to meet the newest Energex trainees and apprentices as they embark on new careers in the power industry.
Taking the opportunity to see first-hand some of the training underway, Mr Bailey said the latest intake of 22 electrical fitter mechanics includes a cross-section of the community, ranging from school leavers to people in their mid-30s with a variety of previous careers including engineering and IT backgrounds, a TV producer and defence force personnel.
“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.
“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.”
“In the future, today’s trainees and apprentices will work shoulder to shoulder with emergency service officers in times of community need. 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,” he said.
Apprentices have been allocated to the company’s South Coast (two), Metro South (six), Western (four), Central West (four), Metro North (four) and North Coast (two) operational areas.
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government had introduced legislation to Parliament to encourage more bosses to employ apprentices and trainees by providing an extra 25 per cent payroll rebate.