Apprentice spotlight: Isla and Brendon’s experience as Electrical Instrumentation Apprentices at Tarong power stations

24 June 2021

Earlier this year Stanwell welcomed Electrical Instrumentation Apprentices, Isla Airs, and Brendon Newman, to Tarong power stations as a part of this year’s apprentice and trainee cohort.

With applications for next year’s apprentice and trainee program now open for Tarong power stations, we caught up with them both to learn a little more about their journey to Stanwell, and how they are finding the program five months in.

For Brendon, the opportunity to extend his interests outside of school and apply knowledge to hands-on work, is what sparked his interest in Stanwell’s apprentice program.

“It all started with electrical projects I did at home. During my senior years of school, I would find myself always working on something on the weekend. Whether it be a car, a motorbike, or some piece of machinery, if it had an electrical component, I was hooked,” said Brendon.

Having decided that she was eager to apply her knowledge in an environment that allowed her to have access to hands on training, Isla submitted her application for the program with high hopes.

“I really didn’t think I would get the apprenticeship with Stanwell, so when I receive the email telling me I had been successful in my interview, I was over the moon. It was such a good feeling to know that I had a good job and learning environment lined up for the next five years,” said Isla.

Now, five months down the track, both Isla and Brendon are well and truly settled into the program. So, what does an average day look like for an Electrical Instrumentation Apprentice at Tarong power stations?

“A typical workday for me always varies due to the wide scope of plant that may require our attention for maintenance or replacement. I often start my day with a team meeting which outlines the tasks for us for that day. After this, my day mostly consists of working out on the plant,” said Brendon.

“I join my team at a morning pre-start meeting where notices and jobs for the day are brought to our attention. From here, we get ourselves organised and head out onto the plant (power station) for the day,” said Isla.

When asked what their favourite thing about the program was, they agreed unanimously, that the unique environment and learning opportunities were a highlight.

“One of the main highlights of my apprenticeship so far would be the unique environment I’m work in at one of Queensland’s largest power stations. Working at a traditional power station provides a vast variety of learning opportunities and experiences,” said Brendon.

Living true to one of our values – we care, we asked Isla and Brendon what advice they would give to others looking to apply for next year’s apprentice and trainee program. For both Brendon and Isla, it’s all about standing out from the crowd.

“During the application process, I tried to think of extra things that I could do that would help me stand out. It’s also important to remember how you present yourself during the other stages of the applications process, taking the time to think through the online questions and making an effort each step of the way,” said Brendon.

“Go the extra mile when you apply. Show how interested you are, and explain why,” said Isla.

Looking to the future, both apprentices are excited for the opportunities that lie ahead in their careers.

“As I progress further through my apprenticeship, I look forward to working independently, and starting my external rotations where I will have the opportunity to experience a domestic electrical trade role,” said Brendon.

“I look forward to working towards gaining my dual trade qualifications and building my skill set. I am eager to progress and become a more independent worker,” said Isla.

Apprentices like Isla and Brendon are the future of our operations here at Stanwell, and the energy industry. 

Applications for Stanwell’s 2022 Apprenticeship and Trainee Program at Tarong power stations remain open until 11 July 2021.

For more information, visit Stanwell’s apprentice and trainee page.