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O'Donnell Griffin Apprentice Program Success


    Engineering company O’Donnell Griffin’s commitment to apprenticeships and the strengthening of its national training programs has received recognition in a round of five recent industry awards.

    Mr David Rafter, CEO of Norfolk Electrical & Communications, of which O’Donnell Griffin is a subsidiary, said O’Donnell Griffin had won five State and National Apprentice of the Year awards in the past year.

    Victorian-based O’Donnell Griffin fourth year apprentice Tim Vining was awarded the state National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) award for Apprentice of the Year in the Industrial category.

    Tim, 23, who has now just completed his four-year systems electrician apprenticeship, was placed second in the 2009 NECA Apprentice of the Year national awards.

    Queensland apprentice Anthony Jupp was awarded the 2009 Electrical and Communications Association’ (ECA) 2009 Apprentice of the Year award.

    Vining and Jupp were just three of the 107 apprentices directly employed last year in apprenticeships at O’Donnell Griffin. The national figure comprises 19 first year apprentices, 22 second year apprentices, 28 third year apprentices and 38 fourth year apprentices. In 2010 there will be another uptake of new apprentices at the company, starting in January.

    O’Donnell Griffin also received awards for apprentices employed through its group training program. In South Australia, O’Donnell Griffin group training electrical trades apprentice Ryan Coats (with ODG as host employer for Peer Veet) was named Apprentice of the Year at the 2009 Training Awards, and was also a runner-up in NECA’s State awards in the Commercial Category.

    Also hosted from Peer Veet by another Norfolk subsidiary, Diverse Data Communications, SA-based fourth year apprentice Amanda Hewison was awarded NECA’s South Australia State Award for Apprentice of the Year, in the Industrial/Automation Communications category. She was subsequently awarded third place nationally in this category.

    “The calibre of our apprentices is shown in these awards,” said Mr Rafter. “In Tim Vining’s case, as an example, he came into the Victorian O’Donnell Griffin program after transferring from a construction management degree and scored extremely highly on his NECA pre-selection score. His continued hard work, including the additional load of being examined and presenting for these awards, has been outstanding”.

    Mr Rafter said the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that a worrying fall in apprenticeship numbers continues.

    The ABS found the number of apprentices employed between May 2008 and May 2009 falling from 188,700 to 163,000 while the number of people who applied for an apprenticeship/traineeship increased from 26,900 to 41,200 in the same period.

    Mr Rafter said that for over 100 years O’Donnell Griffin had demonstrated a great commitment to apprentice programs that would continue into the future.

    ”Supporting the skilling of young, enthusiastic candidates is even more important now with the pressure on resources on one hand and the growing business of O’Donnell Griffin on the other.”

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