Sparkies set for life
ROCKHAMPTON pair Adrian Locke and Wade Ferricks hit the jackpot yesterday.
The lucky men beat 1300 other applicants for two of 82 apprenticeship positions with Ergon Energy in Queensland ? the company's biggest apprentice intake.
"I'm pretty stoked to be walking straight out of school into a full-time job, especially a trade,'' Mr Ferricks, 18, said yesterday, unable to suppress the grin on his face at being one of five chosen from Rockhampton.
"I didn't want to leave Rockhampton ? Ergon was the best choice not just here but all around the State.
"You work for a respected company and people see you differently.''
Mr Ferricks and Mr Locke were in a group of 25 young Central Queenslanders welcomed to the company yesterday by Energy Minister John Mickel and Ergon Energy senior management at a Rockhampton Leagues Club function.
They will both take up distribution linesperson apprenticeships. When informed he was part of the "cream of the crop'' of 1300 applicants, Mr Locke was humble.
"I'm surprised it was that many people,'' he said.
"I guess it was a good achievement ? I feel happy for myself, and everyone else.''
The 20-year-old did not find it hard to put into words how lucky he felt to have this once in a lifetime opportunity.
"I'm excited ? I'm just looking forward to what it's going to bring to my career,'' he said.
"I've heard a lot of good things about Ergon, I know a few people who work here.''
The pair went through an extensive application process, which included an initial written or online application, a short phone interview, an aptitude test, reference checks, a face-to-face interview and a final decision made by a selection panel.
Applicants were eliminated, and a new short list made between each selection process.
It seems the delighted Rockhampton pair will be almost guaranteed to earn the big bucks in the future, with Mr Mickel stressing to the group the massive skills shortage in Australia.
"In this country at the moment, we need people like yourselves,'' he said.
"At the moment our skills shortage is so bad we have to get overseas people for work.
"You can't run the Port at RG Tanna or Hay Point without electricity.''
Mr Mickel presented the new apprentices with the text books they will need to complete their trade studies.