Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
Four electrical apprentices that demonstrated consistent levels of excellence throughout their training were recognised as the best in Australia by the nation’s peak electrical industry association, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), at the annual Apprentice of the Year Awards held on Wednesday (28 November) in Brisbane.

The Awards, which were held at Moda Events Portside, provided an opportunity for the electrical and communications industry to officially recognise the talent of the top national apprentices across three industry sectors, with the winners Yoel Meinrath, Tobias Barnes, Elijah Taylor and Roland Hill, already having won in their state and territory awards.

Yoel Meinrath, a 32-year-old apprentice from Bondi in NSW, is employed by NECA Group Training and his host employer is R W Palmer Electrical Service. He was judged the best apprentice in the Communications category.

Yoel has consistently approached his apprenticeship and training in a professional manner and has excelled in both work performances and TAFE achievements. Job knowledge, skills levels and persistence at whatever tasks are given to Yoel are second to none.

“In the future I hope to broaden my skills by starting my own business and exploring home automation further,” he said.

“I intend to give back to the industry by taking on my own apprentices and guiding them through their apprenticeships. I have also begun writing a business plan for a smart phone ‘app’ which, when complete, will act as a ‘pocket resource tool’ for the data and communications sector.”

Tobias Barnes, a 22-year-old fourth year apprentice from Marlow Lagoon in the Northern Territory, is employed by Nilsen (NT) and has been enrolled with Advanced Training International since 2009. He was judged the best apprentice in the Industrial category.

His company says that Tobias has consistently displayed a professional work ethic which has exceeded all expectations for a fourth year apprentice and that his quality, volume and standard of work are exceptional.

“The breadth of the electrical trade has given me future prospects, goals and aspirations, which I will strive to achieve,” said Tobias.

“These goals include completing further studies and personal development through ongoing exposure to the industry.”

Elijah Taylor, who is 27-years-old and from Eatons Hill in Queensland, was judged the joint best apprentice in the Commercial/Domestic category.

Elijah is employed by Q Electrical in Brisbane and has been the onsite safety rep. The company says that Elijah has consistently shown willingness to participate as a team member and is well regarded by his supervisors and colleagues alike.

“Throughout my apprenticeship I’m fortunate enough to have had exposure to a large range of commercial and industrial projects,” said Elijah.

“I’ve enjoyed the challenges of working alongside tradesmen on highly technical industrial projects but more than that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the competitive nature of the commercial industry.

“I’m currently applying to undertake further studies into an Advanced Diploma of Electrical Engineering where I would like to obtain skills to aid me in the future for possible roles in design and management.”

Thirty-nine-year-old Roland Hill from Bentleigh East in Victoria was the other joint winner in the Commercial/Domestic category.

He is employed by NECA Apprenticeships who say that, taking into consideration the rotational basis on how NECA Apprenticeships operate, Roland has adapted extremely well and built a great network of contacts for the future.

Roland, who attended Box Hill TAFE, achieved a high level of competence in his chosen field obtaining marks consistently above 90 per cent. His ambition is to go to Antarctica.

“I continue to seek employment that can strengthen my skills,” said Roland.

“During my training as an apprentice I have frequently asked myself what I wanted to do once I became qualified. The answer to this combines something else that I have only dreamed about but never thought I could achieve and that is living and working in Antarctica.”

NECA’s Chief Executive Officer James Tinslay said the judges were impressed with the development of all the winning apprentices.

“To be named Apprentice of the Year in their individual categories is something, Yoel, Tobias, Elijah and Roland should be very proud of,” said James.

“The judges compared the academic achievements and on-the-job accomplishments from all of the submissions and decided that these are the best performing apprentices in Australia. It’s great to see mature age apprentices excelling in the industry showing that it’s possible for anyone who is committed to make a good start on their electrical career regardless of age.”

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

“It’s important to remember that it’s not only the apprentices and training institutions working to build skills in our industry,” said James.

“Many businesses 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 for the future of our electrical and communications industry.”


Contact Profile

Peter Scott - Media and Communications Manager

P: 02 9439 8523
M: 0457 767 328


NECA, National Electrical and Communications Association, apprentice awards, Queensland, NSW, ACT, Victoria, Northern Territory



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