Opportunities abroad for young electricians
The recruits were given the opportunity to broaden their horizons after receiving Queensland Overseas Foundation scholarships, which give specially selected young tradespeople who have completed their formal apprenticeships or vocational training the opportunity to live and work overseas in a country of their choice for up to two years.
The scholarships are valued at up to $7000, and with applications for the 2012 round now open, previous winners are encouraging people within the electrical industry to apply.
Daniel McGaw, 28, who fulfilled his scholarship as a network technician for ESB Networks in Ireland, said the scholarship challenged him personally and professionally.
“Working outside your comfort zone really tests your knowledge in a foreign environment,” Mr McGaw said.
“I was working in completely different workplaces and using work methods, tooling and systems I have never even heard of.
“It really tests your ability and resolve.”
Mr McGaw said anyone who may be eligible for this year’s round should not hesitate to be in the running.
“I only heard about the scholarship at the eleventh hour, applied and never looked back” he said.
“Do not hesitate – it is the best opportunity you may receive professionally and the benefits you will pick up personally are priceless.
“So many Aussies travel overseas just to work in pubs, but with the Queensland Overseas Foundation you have the opportunity for develop your skills in your chosen field.
“Working abroad you get to test your skills against others in a foreign country and receive exposure to different technologies, systems, working environments, tooling and people.”
To be eligible, applicants must be Queensland residents and have completed an apprenticeship or traineeship, Certificate III or above or a vocational Certificate IV or above, and gained work experience in the industry.
Benjamin Lowrey, an electrical projects supervisor, plans to use his scholarship to travel to Canada.
Mr Lowrey, who was among five young Queenslanders to be awarded the scholarships in last year’s round, worked on the field and with crews to restore power during Brisbane’s devastating floods in January.
“I was in the switching restoration so I was involved with all the high voltage operations,” he said.
“I needed to speak with residents in their actual homes because we had to do inspections on their electrical switchboards.
“The emotion was very high.”
Queensland Overseas Foundation Chair Rebecca Hall said the scholarships were an opportunity not to miss.
“These Queenslanders are able to get an international vocational experience that they otherwise may not have,” Ms Hall said.
“No matter what trade or vocation you are in, we really encourage people who think they might be eligible to apply through the website.”
The Queensland Overseas Foundation is a voluntary, non-profit organisation that has provided annual scholarships to high achieving Queenslanders for the past 28 years with the goal of bringing the best global practices back to Queensland industries.
The Foundation is sponsored by Queensland Industry and supported by the State Government to enable recipients to broaden their horizons and expand their skills.
Applications close 31 October 2012. To apply, visit www.qof.org.au.