Downs locals power up their energy careers
Two Western Downs locals have taken the first step towards a career in the energy industry by securing apprenticeships at CS Energy’s Kogan Creek Power Station near Chinchilla.
Aimey Johnson and Ruan Van Schalkwyk will combine on-the-job training with blocks of study for their five-year Electrical and Instrumentation Apprenticeships.
Above: Ruan Van Schalkwyk and Aimey Johnson in front of Kogan Creek Power Station.
After graduating from Chinchilla State High School in 2009, Aimey worked locally in finance roles in the mining and gas industries, before deciding to pursue a trade.
“Growing up I liked fixing things, but it wasn’t until I was working with an electrical team in the gas industry that I became interested in doing an electrical trade.” Aimey said.
“I was watching what the electricians did and I thought ‘Why I am sitting at a desk all day when I can be out and about doing what they do?”
Aimey is the only female in her work team, and part of a growing number of women at CS Energy working in non-traditional roles.
“My team is a great bunch of people and they’re always willing to impart their knowledge and teach me as much as they can,” she said.
Ruan is no stranger to Kogan Creek Power Station as he had worked there previously as a contract industrial cleaner and utility worker.
Originally from South Africa, Ruan moved to Dalby in 2010 where he finished his senior schooling at Dalby State High School.
“I had gone as far as I could go in my contract roles so when I saw the ad for the apprenticeships I decided to apply,” he said.
“What interests me about power generation is the variety of equipment that needs to be operated safely and efficiently. I have really enjoyed the change in roles and I’m learning new things every day.”
The two new Kogan Creek recruits join four new apprentices at CS Energy’s Callide Power Station and three Business Administration Trainees at the Brisbane corporate office in 2019.
The intake continues CS Energy’s commitment to developing the next generation of the energy industry and building a more diverse workforce.
CS Energy has set targets for increasing female and ATSI participation in the business by 2022 and increasing the percentage of women in leadership and non-traditional roles. The company has also had gender pay parity since 2016 and conducts annual reviews to maintain this standard.