Mandurah, Peel industry set to benefit from 24 job-ready apprentices

Twenty-four young men and women were the toast of the town last week as celebrations were held to acknowledge their successful graduation from Alcoa of Australia’s four-year apprenticeship program.

Family members, peers and mentors shared the moment with the newly qualified tradespeople.

Each graduating apprentice was awarded a trade certificate qualifying for careers ranging from heavy duty mechanics and mechanical fabricators to electrical and instrumentation technicians and mechanical fitters.

Halls Head residents Mitchell May and Jake Williams were award winners on the night with Mr May taking out the Apprentice of the Year Award for Alcoa’s bauxite mining business and Mr Williams winning the Safety Award for Pinjarra Refinery.

Mr May said he appreciated the safety culture and the environment of his training at Willowdale Bauxite Mine.

“Everyone I have had contact with during my apprenticeship - the tradespeople, trainers and staff group; they have all been very knowledgeable and helped me a lot,” he said.

Mr Williams thanked his family for their support during his training and offered advice to those considering an apprenticeship to kick-start their career.

“Listen extensively to the advice the tradespeople give you. Their knowledge through experience is guidance you can’t beat,” he said.

Alcoa’s apprentice coordinator Kevin Lunn has supervised the apprenticeship program for 10 years and encouraged this year’s graduates to use what they have learned to not only be successful tradespeople but to make a difference in future workplaces.

“We have not only prepared you for your careers as tradespeople, but by training you within a culture underpinned by the highest commitment to safety you should always operate with excellence and bring positive change to workplaces where standards might not be as they are at Alcoa,” he said.