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After receiving a record number of applicants, Rheem Australia announces the 2020 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant recipients.
Rheem Australia awards a total of $30,000 to the 10 deserving recipients of the 2020 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants, as Aussie apprentices feel the pinch in a challenging apprenticeship and job market.
Chief Operating Officer at Rheem Australia, Chris Taylor, says, “The Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants are a way to welcome and support passionate newcomers to the plumbing industry. In their eighth year, the grants are an investment in the skills and development of Australia’s next generation of plumbers, alleviating financial strain and helping recipients to pursue their chosen career.
“This year we’re acutely aware that it’s not business as usual for business owners, tradesman and apprentices in our industry. We’re grateful that our grants will relieve financial strain and provide a positive boost to 10 deserving apprentices, their families and their workplaces,” he says.
The grants aim to assist apprentices and young people to achieve their dreams and career objectives. This year, a record 202 apprentice plumbers applied for the grants from across the country.
“This year, a record number of applications were received, with 75 per cent more applicants compared to last year. Our independent judging panel was extremely impressed with the high calibre of applications, and the incredible tenacity and commitment of plumbing apprentices across the country,” says Taylor.
Analysis by the Global Apprentice Network Australia showed that the number of advertised apprenticeship positions fell by 73 per cent between January and April this year; a time where a peak in interest is historically experienced.
According to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, 91.5 per cent of apprentices who complete a trade apprenticeship retain employment, with a median annual salary of $62,800.
Each Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant recipient will receive $2,000 to assist with their TAFE/RTO fees and textbooks, $1,000 to help them build their all-important trade toolbox, and a tool tote bag for transport and storage of their tools on the jobsite.
“Following feedback from apprentices, plumbing teachers and employers, we’ve determined that the greatest financial hardships are associated with tuition and tools. The grant provides recipients with the opportunity to commit to further study, such as undertaking an optional fourth year so that they can earn their tradesman license and dream of one day operating their own business,” explains Taylor.
In addition to the largest applicant pool in history, Rheem also received its most diverse set of applicants with a 51 per cent increase in mature-age apprentices applying. The recipients are aged from 17 to 34, hail from all over the country, and have one thing in common; the ambition to become part of the next generation of Australian plumbers.
From Wurrumiyanga, a community on the southern coast of Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory; to Tarago, a town in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales; to Gepps Gepps, Noble Park, Artarmon, Melville, Drummond, Trentham, Moruya and Leongatha South; this year’s recipients represent the diversity of the plumbing industry in cities and country towns across Australia.
An independent panel of industry experts, including Leonard Redfern from TAFE Victoria, Ernie Kretschmer from the Master Plumbers’ Association, and Rheem adjudicator, Kevin Price, carefully reviewed the applications for the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants. Rheem is proud to announce this year’s Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant recipients:
- Adam Jackson, SA, Edwards Brothers Plumbing & Gas
- Andrew Jan, VIC, Macedon Ranges Plumbing
- Georgia Ugov, NSW, Simmo’s Plumbing and Coring
- Jasmine Garner, VIC, Cooke & Dowsett
- Justin Jongsma, VIC, Shinners Plumbing
- Kieran McKenzie, NSW, O’Brien Plumbing
- Nicholas Barnes, NSW, Acclaim Plumbing & Hot Water
- Patrick Lorraine, WA, Fairview Plumbing and Gas
- Thomas Knox, VIC, Ash Watt Plumbing
- Wilfred Pilakiu, NT, Bathurst Island Housing Association
Due to the high volume and standard of applicants this year, in addition to the 10 recipients, Rheem also granted two apprentice plumbers with a special $500 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Recognition Award. Rheem is happy to announce this year’s Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant Recognition Award recipients:
- Warrick Baczynski, QLD, O’Brien Plumbing
- William Roberts, TAS, NowConnected
“It was an incredibly tough decision for our judges this year, with so many worthy apprentice plumbers applying. We would like to sincerely thank all our applicants, their employers, TAFE and RTO teachers, and plumbing merchants. Since launching the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants in 2012, we have discovered just how many remarkable apprentices there are around Australia,” concludes Taylor.
Since the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants program was launched in 2012, over $270,000 in grants have been awarded to apprentice plumbers. The full list of this year’s recipients can be found on the Rheem website at www.rheem.com.au