Young talents charge up their careers with Stanwell

4 June 2021

A new wave of talented young apprentices and trainees are giving their careers a head-start with Stanwell. 

Stanwell’s apprenticeship and traineeship programs provide opportunities for participants to develop their skills and earn nationally recognised qualifications. 

Learning from highly experienced mentors, apprentices and trainees as they take their first steps towards bright careers in the energy industry – while enjoying benefits including discounted gym memberships, the provision of tools and access to Stanwell’s employee assistance and voluntary wellness programs. 

Essense Clements, 20, is a first-year business trainee at Stanwell Power Station. After seeing Stanwell’s traineeship program featured in the news, she jumped at the chance to take her career to the next level. 

“I was already working full-time in an office administration role, so I saw this as an opportunity to take those skills and develop them further,” she says. 

“As a business trainee, I’ll rotate into a few different areas throughout my time here to maximise my experience. I’ve started off in records management, so my focus at the moment is on data entry and document storage.” 

At the start of each day, Essense talks to her mentor about what’s on the agenda and what’s expected of her. 

“My mentor’s been here for over 10 years, so there’s so much she can pass on,” Essense says.

“The first thing I learned here is to ask questions whenever I need to. You can feel a bit self-conscious about asking questions at first, as a trainee, but the people here are so friendly and accommodating. I’m never afraid to ask for help or advice – it’s a very supportive environment.” 

Connor Duffy, 22, is a fifth-year electrical apprentice at Stanwell Power Station. For Connor, it was the chance to earn certifications in two trades that most appealed to him about the apprenticeship program. 

“I’m a dual trade electrotechnology and instrumentation apprentice,” he says. “It’s a five-year program, and throughout those five years, you rotate between the heavy electrical team and the instrumentation team.

“We start each day at 7am with a pre-start talk where we run through what’s happened overnight, go through any important announcements and safety information and break down our tasks for the day. Depending on our experience level and the nature of the job, we’ll either go and do our first job for the day with another apprentice or be paired up with an expert tradesperson. 

“Prior to the start of each job, we’ll do a ‘safe start’ – an on-the-job check that the tradespeople and the apprentices do to pick up any extra safety issues that the permit for that job might not have covered. If it’s just a simple fault-finding job, it might only take half an hour to do, but as you progress through the apprenticeship, you’re also assigned a range of larger projects that you can work on at your own pace. They can take anywhere from a week to a month to progress through.”

In his time at Stanwell, a number of experienced tradespeople have taken Connor under their wing. 

“There are different mentors for different types of jobs,” he says.

“One person’s strength might be the boiler, for instance, whereas someone else will teach you about the turbine. You get to learn from a range of tradespeople. 

“The time when we get to learn the most is actually during the scheduled outages. During those eight weeks, we get the chance to calibrate a whole range of different instruments and experience a range of scenarios that put us to the test.

“As well as the fundamentals of the electrotechnology and instrumentation trades, I’ve also had the opportunity to take part in a range of learning experiences that have developed my skills beyond the electrical trade – working with heights, working in confined spaces, CPR and so on.

“Asking questions is always encouraged here – if you show an interest and you’re keen to excel, you can learn so much from the tradespeople here. It’s really about what you want to put into it, because the knowledge is all there for you if you’re willing to learn.” 

Connor, who plans to put the skills he’s developed at Stanwell to use in the gas and oil industry, doesn’t hesitate to recommend the apprenticeship program to other young Queenslanders looking to advance their careers. 

“Oh, I’d absolutely recommend applying,” he says. “There’s a lot of interest in the roles, and it’s very competitive, but it’s definitely worth a shot. It’s an unbeatable learning opportunity and a great start to your career.” 

Want to give your career in the energy industry a charge? The 2022 intake for apprentices and trainees at Stanwell Power Station is open until 6 June 2021. Roles available include business, laboratory techniques and supply chain trainees, and electrical instrumentation and mechanical fitter and turner apprenticeships. Expressions of interest can also be registered now for our 2022 apprentice and trainee program at Tarong power stations.