Six CitiPower and Powercor apprentices have been recognised for outstanding performances, dedication and skill at the network business’ annual awards ceremony last week.
The occasion also marked the graduation of four apprentices, who have completed their four years instruction full of intensive on-the-job experiences keeping the network safe and reliable for Victorian communities.
Key award winners included Keegan Schneeberger from the Kyneton depot, who received the Dale Shorter Memorial Award for Most Outstanding 4th year apprentice.
The award is named after Dale Shorter, a lineworker at the Ballarat depot who passed away from bowel cancer in 2007 at 25 years old. He began his career at Powercor at 16 years old and his brother still works for Powercor in Ballarat.
Keegan won the award for his positive work ethic and attitude, strong focus on health and safety, support and mentoring for younger apprentices and success in stepping up as a work site leader.
Justin Vassallo from the Burnley depot won the Ron Warburton Memorial Award for Mentor of the Year. Ron was a highly respected member of the Ardeer team who passed away in 2014 after 43 years of service, well known for freely giving his time to help younger team members.
The Electrical Plant and Testing (EP&T) / MOG award was won by Elyse Desbrowe Annear from Ardeer, described by her team as one of the most outstanding EPT apprentices they’ve ever had.
Shepparton’s Rhys Shannon was awarded for Northern Region, Burnley’s Joel Moloney won the Central Region award, Geelong’s Kale Wells picked up the gong for the Southern Region and Mildura’s Brodie Peters took out the award for the Western Region.
CitiPower and Powercor’s Head of Field Services Ross Young said 2020’s crop of apprentices had a lot to be proud of in a challenging year.
“I’m so proud of the 57 apprentices we have across the business, who are committed to doing their best every day as we work to deliver safe, affordable and reliable electricity to homes and businesses.”
“Our apprentices are the best of the best and these awards recognise six outstanding apprentices across the business in 2020, who all have potential to be future leaders in the business.”
“The feedback from across their nominations is similar – they’re all very reliable, team focussed and have an outstanding work ethic.”
Mr Young said CitiPower and Powercor were continuing to develop their own workforce and the annual apprentice recruitment intake was an important part of that.
“It’s really pleasing that, despite the challenges of the pandemic, our business is still really keen to invest in our people in this way.”
“This year, we had a record number of applications for our apprenticeship program – about 120 applications for every vacancy – which is an indication of how popular our program is.”
Since 2001 CitiPower and Powercor has recruited 429 apprentices and trainees, with another 10 set to be added in 2021. Those 10 will be chosen from the record pool of 1237 applications, a massive 56% increase in last year.