Friday, July 15th, 2011
Three electrical apprentices who demonstrated consistent levels of excellence throughout their training were recognised by Australia’s peak electrical industry association, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), at the annual Apprentice of the Year Awards held on Wednesday night (13 July 2011) at Crown Melbourne.

The 2011 NECA Apprentice of the Year Awards is an opportunity for the industry to officially recognise the talent of the top apprentices .across three industry sectors.

Natalie Plain, a 23-year-old apprentice from Box Hill, was judged the best apprentice in the Communications Category. The fourth-year apprentice excelled during her studies at the Box Hill Institute and during on-the-job training with data and electrical installations with DESA Australia Pty Ltd.

“I want to contribute to the company by providing new initiatives in undertaking more efficient work practices and ensuring that at all times safe work practices are adhered to,” Ms Plain said during the application process.

Twenty-six-year-old Michael Burns from Croydon won the Commercial and Domestic category. Employed by Stowe Australia, Mr Burns has worked on large commercial projects like the extension of the Westfield in Doncaster, the NAB building at 500 Bourke Street and the new Harvey Norman and IKEA in Springvale.

The fourth-year apprentice who also attended Box Hill TAFE said he is honoured to be working in an industry he enjoys.

“I have been fortunate enough to establish myself in a career of choice as I have always wanted to be an electrician. My desire to be an electrician began when I was very young when my parents bought me a make-believe electrical set which apparently I couldn’t stop playing with and I think this started my fascination with anything electrical,” Mr Burns said.

“I am a strong believer that we never stop learning and I think the knowledge I have gained from my studies, teachers and senior colleagues has been invaluable.”

Mulgrave resident, Graeme Mitchell was successful in the Industrial category. The 29-year-old mature age apprentice excelled during his studies at RMIT and is currently working at the desalination plant in Wonthaggi where he is part of a team energising the plant and equipment.

Chief executive officer of NECA Victoria, Mr Philip Green, said that the judges were impressed with the development of all three winning apprentices.

“To be named Apprentice of the Year in their individual categories is something Natalie, Michael and Graeme should be very proud of,” Mr Green said.

“The judges compared the academic achievements and on-the-job accomplishments from all of the submissions and decided that these three are the best performing apprentices in Victoria. It is very pleasing to see a mature age and female apprentice excelling in the industry because it is possible for anyone who is committed to make a great career from the opportunities being an electrician can offer.”

The apprentice awards are also held to recognise the important role employers play in training apprentices.

“It is important to remember that it is not only the apprentices and training institutions working to build skills in our industry.

“Many businesses like 370 Degrees Group, Stowe Australia and DESA engage apprentices and provide them with the support and opportunities they need to develop the practical component of their trade. Without the assistance of the business community apprentices would not get the on-the-job training that is so important to the electrical and communications industry,” Mr Green said.


Contact Profile

Ian Richardson – President

P: 02 9888 3081


apprentice electrical electrician NECA National Electrical and Communications Association



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