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Scholarship encourages mob to pursue career in energy sector

David Prestipino -

Victoria's biggest energy distributor hopes its new program will increase Indigenous representation in the state's electrical industry.

Recipients can use their scholarships to help them attain nationally-recognised qualifications. Once completed, recipients will be shortlisted for an apprenticeship at CitiPower and Powercor, which was based on the company's successful initiative to boost female participation in the industry; with several women now in permanent and senior roles within the business.

CitiPower and Powercor First Peoples engagement lead, Tegan Miller said the pre-apprenticeship Indigenous scholarship - the first of its kind in Victoria - reflected the company's desire for a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

"This is all about supporting First Peoples enter the electrical trade industry and breaking down barriers," she said.

"We want employees who bring different ideas, backgrounds and perspectives that better reflect the communities we serve."

The eight scholarships each worth $2000 would be offered to Indigenous people in three locations across the state - Dja Dja Wurrung Country (Bendigo), Yorta Yorta Country (Shepparton) and Wurundjeri Country (Burnley) - providing invaluable trade insights and career opportunities for recipients.

Successful recipients will undertake a Pre-Apprenticeship TAFE Certificate II in Electrotechnology before starting an apprenticeship at CitiPower and Powercor, earning competitive salaries, nine-day fortnights and paid tuition.

Apprentices will also work at depots across Victoria, and receive mentoring and guidance from senior company staff to help them forge a career in the booming industry.

CitiPower and Powercor technical training manager, Neil Roberts, said the apprenticeship was much sought after and provided Indigenous recipients with unique opportunities across the industry.

"For those successful, there is no obligation to apply for a role with us," he said.

"However you will be put on the candidate list for our apprenticeship program when the program opens for applications."

Successful recipients must demonstrate commitment and motivation to building a career in the electrical industry, with the scholarship to help fund tuition fees, tools, clothing, rent, childcare or provide a supplement income during the four-year program.

Applications are currently being accepted via Powercor's website.

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