29 March, 2019 –
The following is an extract from my speech, delivered on Thursday 28 March, 2019.
Across Queensland this week 102 Ergon and Energex apprentices are on the tools in their home depots after completing their classroom inductions. They are starting careers in a world-class electricity distribution network at 46 different locations across Queensland—from Thursday Island, out
to Hughenden and all the way down to Southport. These positions are highly sought after, and the competition is fierce. For this year’s intake we had more than 3,500 applicants and they were whittled down to only 600 before the final recruits were selected.
Ergon Energy and Energex are at the forefront of the rapidly changing electricity industry, leading the way with the use of new technologies, such as alternative energy solutions and smart grids. They offer excellent training and development programs to nurture the talent that will be needed to maintain our network into the future.
These new apprentices have completed their first block of classroom based induction and, for these new apprentices, their learning will never stop. They will, of course, be learning the skills needed for their important day-to-day work on the electricity network throughout Queensland. With the electricity industry undergoing unprecedented change, these new apprentices will also be learning how to work with the latest technologies. They will continue to adapt, change and improve their capabilities throughout the course of their careers as these new technologies continue to emerge, and as the needs of customers continue to evolve.
For a large part of their training they will be learning the skills needed to work with the latest advances in renewable energy systems. That means solar power and battery storage systems, home energy management systems and virtual power plants, all of which are increasingly sophisticated. The 2019 apprentices will play an increasingly important role in the energy front line. As Queenslanders continue to embrace renewable energy, the skilled staff of our publicly owned energy companies will continue to make the transition with them, providing the technical support we need to progress to a renewable future.