STUDENTS eyeing a career in the field of electrotechnology are being given a head start thanks to Port Macquarie businesses and tradesmen.
Lear and Smith electrical wholesalers are leading the charged, teaming up with Newman Senior Technical College and Hastings tradesman to place students into apprenticeships.
Kevin Moran, supervisor of Lear and Smith Port Macquarie, explained it was a way of giving something back to the community. “It gives these students a pathway, access to facilities and a bit of a home while building a relationship between them and our brand at same time,” he said. “The communication you have with these young guys can go a long way. We were happy to facilitate the apprenticeships. They’re such talented kids.”
Mr Moran said he borrowed the model from skateboarding, where companies will associate themselves with the best young guns.
“We’ve sponsored the kids who are doing great things, like attending the skills Olympics, and we give them all the gear they need,” he said. “We’ve also started an apprentice of the month scheme, where all our apprentices we know of go into a draw for a chance to win a bunch of free tools. We wanted to do that because we understand it’s tough for them. There can be a big cost involved in buying tools and supplies.”
Dan Abbott, who runs his self-named electrical business, has taken Newman student Callum Frewin under his wing. “I’m very happy to get an apprentice of his calibre. It’s good for us and good for him,” he said. “At the moment it’s one day a week, and in 2019 two days a week before moving up to full time. It’s also good for small businesses, having that program with the school and being able to build up the kids. The opportunities are there now.”
Callum said he was very happy to have such a great opportunity so early in his career. “I’ve been looking forward to an apprenticeship for a long time,” he said. “I’m stoked I’ve had the opportunity to go to a school that has been able to help me achieve that. It’s been really good to get a bit of experience. It gives me a head start and sets me up now and I don’t have to have the added pressure of not knowing what I want to do.”
Any electrotechnician apprentice that needs help are encouraged to reach out to Lear and Smith.
Photo: Lear and Smith team members with Newman students and local tradesman.