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Electrical apprentices celebrated

Four apprentices received a coveted 2008 Western Australia National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) Apprentice of the Year Awards 2008 award on Friday 29 August, recognising their capabilities and commitment in the industry.

Apprentice Awards are part of a national professional awards program encouraging and rewarding excellence and professionalism both among contractors and apprentices. Apprentice entrants are nominated by their employer and assessed on job performance and professional goals as well as personal qualities. This year the Western Australia judges awarded winners and runners-up in two categories: Commercial/Domestic and Industrial.

The first-place winners are now automatically eligible for the National Apprentice of the Year Awards, which will be announced in Sydney on 13 November 2008.

Electrical Group Training is the largest employer of electrical apprentices in Western Australia with over 700 apprentices working across a range of areas. Electrical apprentices and trainees are exposed to a full range of practical training and hands-on experience in the electrotechnology industry while providing host employers with a consistent supply of workers to support their business on a short or long term basis.

Western Australia is still experiencing a chronic skills shortage, especially in all professions and trades directly and indirectly related to the mining boom the state is still enjoying — including electricians, according to the organisation.

“Celebrating our apprentices through these awards is an important way to encourage both school leavers and mature-age learners to tackle the ever-increasing challenges of new electrical and communications installations, refurbishments and maintenance across an incredibly varied range of industries and specialties,” said NECA Western Australia chief executive officer, Peter Tuck.

The winners and runners-up for this year’s WA event are:


Winner —Thomas Enston, Electrical Group Training (host: BCA Consultants)

Runner Up — Michael Fox, Electrical Group Training (host: Everett Smith & Co)


Winner — Todd De Vries-Turner, Electrical Group Training (host: Downer EDI Engineering)

Runner Up — David Hartridge, Southern Cross Electrical Engineering

Thomas Enston of Churchlands was described by the judging panel as “switched on” and a future leader. Last year Thomas won the College of Electrical Training (EGT) Apprentice of the Year Award, gold at the WorldSkills Australia competition and third place at the NECA National Apprentice Awards. His track record has been sustained since he started his apprenticeship — being runner-up EGT Apprentice of the Year in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Described by the NECA judges as confident and a person who knows where he wants to go and how to get there, Industrial category winner Todd De Vries-Turner of Koongamia was also recognised with a first place in the Electrical Group Training third-year Apprentice Awards last year and placed third in the NECA Industrial category last year, an outstanding achievement considering he was up against more experienced fourth year apprentices.

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