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Connecting young people to energy futures in state-first

In a state-first, high school students from across South West Queensland will be a part of a new regional, rural and remote cadetship program in the transformative energy industry, through a partnership between Ergon Energy Network and Energex and TAFE Queensland.

This year eighteen students have been selected to participate in the program offered through five regional TAFE Queensland’s campuses.

Students will also attend work experience placements at Ergon Energy Network and Energex depots located in Boonah, north to Kingaroy and Kilkivan, south west to Stanthorpe and as far west as Charleville.

This practical cadetship program has been specifically designed for regional, rural and remote high school students interested in jump-starting their careers in Queensland’s booming energy industry.

Students will attain a Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) (UEE2201) qualification over four terms and will gain the skills needed to safely undertake basic electrotechnology work, solve problems in extra-low voltage single-path and multiple-path DC circuits, as well as learn about sustainable energy solutions.

Rory Delany attends St John’s Catholic School in Roma and would like to undertake an electrical apprenticeship after high school.

Rory will gain practical work experience at Ergon Energy Network’s Roma depot, through in-community placements during the program.

“I have decided that I would like to become an electrician and I am interested in working with Ergon in the future. I really enjoyed the Ergon career information session that I attended recently,” said Rory.

“I hope this course leads me to be able to get an electrical apprenticeship as well as provide me with some background knowledge and skills prior to my apprenticeship commencing.”

Rory, together with the other participants, will attend weekly online workshops and on-campus practical days led by TAFE Queensland teachers, as well as spend time in the depot guided by Ergon Energy Network and Energex experts.

Ergon Energy Network and Energex spokesperson, Dan McGaw said: “It’s great to partner with TAFE Queensland and spark interest in career opportunities in the industry.”

“This program will provide foundational electrotechnology skills and a clear pathway towards an energy sector-related apprenticeship for young people.”

TAFE Queensland General Manager of the South West Region, Jenni Butler, said that the organisation was proud to work together with Australia’s largest electricity company to help equip the next generation of energy tradespeople.

“Working with Ergon Energy Network and Energex ensures our training programs are tailored to the specific needs of the industry,” said Ms Butler.

“The program participants will gain confidence and capabilities, and are ready to help drive a bright future for the industry and their communities.”

Students will also attain a General Safety Induction course (White Card), an industry requirement to work on Queensland construction sites, and some of the units needed for the first stage of an electrical apprenticeship.

Training the next generation of skilled tradespeople is critical with the National Skills Commission’s predicting that energy sector employment opportunities for trades, such as electricians and electrical engineers, will increase by 10.2% over five years, with an estimated 14,600 new job openings between 2021 and 2026.

TAFE Queensland is the state’s leading training provider in electrotechnology, training around 72 percent of the total electrical apprentices and trainees employed in Queensland.


Congratulations to the 2024 Ergon Energy Network and Energex Pre-apprenticeship Program participants:


  • Dustin Alldridge, St Joseph's School (Stanthorpe)
  • Patrick Brown, St Joseph's School (Stanthorpe)
  • Cameron Betts, Warwick State High School
  • Breeanah Bradley, Murgon State High School
  • Lochlan Burrows, Kingaroy State High School
  • Dominic Clarke, Pittsworth State High School
  • Rory Delany, St John's Catholic School (Roma)
  • Elijah Green, Toogoolawah State High School
  • Joshua Hartman, Dalby State High School
  • Blake Hawke, Boonah State High School
  • Darcey Lowe, Boonah State High School
  • Amelia McConnell, Chinchilla Christian College 
  • Benjamin McPhee, Charleville State High School
  • Donata Melino, Oakey State High School
  • Sasha Morris, Kilcoy State High School
  • Clare Parry, Clifton State High School
  • Brendan Reinke, James Nash State High School (Gympie)
  • Harry Simms, Chinchilla State High School