EnergyAustralia has taken on four new female apprentices at its Yallourn power station in the Latrobe Valley.
More than 85 women applied to train as electricians and fitters at the plant, which supplies around 20 per cent of Victoria’s energy demand. A fifth female apprentice will join the group in 2018 after completing her Victorian Education Certificate.
EnergyAustralia said the appointments reflected its commitment to diversity and equal opportunity.
In 2016, Managing Director Catherine Tanna committed to boosting the representation of women at the company’s generation assets. Shortly afterwards, EnergyAustralia advertised for applications from women to fill five apprenticeships and five trainee-operator roles at the Yallourn power station.
Ms Tanna said, “There’s never been a more important time to be in energy. We think the industry is a great place to work – it’s fundamentally good and important for the wellbeing of families and businesses around the country.
“The great reaction to our recruitment campaign tells us there are a lot of women out there who feel the same way.
“That’s why on International Women’s Day in 2016 I made a commitment: before I hand over EnergyAustralia to someone else we will have women operators at our power stations.
“We had a great response to our call and will make an announcement on our progress in coming months. Right now we’re welcoming our four new female apprentices to Yallourn and what we expect will be long and interesting careers.”
Head of Human Resources – Energy, Rebecca Fraser, said it was the first intake of female apprentices since EnergyAustralia was formed around a decade ago.
The new apprentices – Sara Stanvi, Harmony Moran, Carmel Jenkinson and Quinn Lynch – are Latrobe Valley locals with a variety of backgrounds: beauty therapist, high school student, labourer and power station “peggie”.
“The skills the women will learn in their four-year apprenticeship will set them up for a long and rewarding career,” Ms Fraser said.
“When they graduate, they’ll be qualified to work inside and outside the industry – but of course we hope they’ll be with us for a long time to come.”
The apprentices will join a workforce of 500 at Yallourn providing reliable and affordable energy to thousands of Victorian families and businesses.
Ms Fraser said EnergyAustralia had also reviewed more than 370 applications for five trainee power station operator roles and the business was close to appointing successful candidates.