Environmental News

From bank teller to diesel fitter

In July 2016 Hastings Deering’s diesel fitter led an impressive field of talented apprentices to win the region’s Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year award.

On 9 September, Weston, 27, stood proud when the Queensland Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills Yvette D’Ath named her as a state finalist for Apprentice of the Year at the Queensland Training Awards gala dinner.

Weston says it is important to take opportunities where you see them and never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

“Sometimes we might take a job because it suits life and our circumstances at the time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t follow a dream or take a chance at finding the job you have always wanted,” Weston said.

“Hastings Deering has apprenticeship opportunities across a number of fields, with seven females in apprenticeship training right now. Every day presents new challenges and that’s what I love about the work. Each machine comes with its own intricacies and from working out the diagnostics to the actual maintenance, you can sit back at the end of each day and know you have achieved something, especially when you see the machine you have just worked on rumbling by.

“The training is second to none. I encourage other women who are interested in this field of work to apply – it is such a positive environment to work in.”

In February 2016, Weston was among eight finalists from 309 apprentices employed at Hastings Deering in Queensland, the Northern Territory, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia for the 2015 Apprentice of the Year award.

She became the face of the company’s apprenticeship campaign later in the year when it recruited 22 new apprentices.

Since 1989 Hastings Deering has trained almost 1500 apprentices, and in 2016 it was one of the largest trainers of apprentice diesel fitters in Australia. In the most recent intake, 19 of the apprentices were from Queensland, two were from the Northern Territory and one from New Caledonia.

Hastings Deering managing director Dean Mehmet said the company was committed to feeding the talent pipeline that underpins the mining and construction industries.

“We cannot afford to have a skills deficit when things improve – and they will because the resources sector is always cyclical,” he said.

Mehmet added Hastings Deering had concluded a recruitment drive, with 1000 applications for a further 20 apprentice positions, that commenced in January 2017.

“As a country Australia needs to remain agile and on the front foot for when the resources and construction sectors pick up,” he said.

“While many companies are running leaner operations than ever before, we need to continue to offer our young people career pathways.”

Source: Hastings Deering

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