The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought uncertainty and disarray to many of our lives. Some of us have had to adopt new ways of working and learning, but as disruptive as the pandemic has been, we are determined to keep the work and education of our graduates and apprentices as normal and as focused as possible.
Hands-on learning with our apprentices
Lisa Briggs is the apprentice and trainee coordinator at AGL Loy Yang.
'We have 22 apprentices currently here,’ Lisa said, ‘and the question we’re really focused on is: how can we make sure they continue to get the most out of their apprenticeship?’
‘We really want to balance making sure we’re looking after them from a safety point of view with making sure that their time learning is as undisrupted as possible.
They came to a simple – and effective solution.
‘Normally we have apprentices rotating through the station and the mine regularly, so they get experience in every aspect of the site,’ she said.
‘With some of the measures we’ve put in place to protect our sites and our people, that became a lot trickier.
‘Instead of interrupting their apprenticeship, we decided to move all the apprentices to the mine. They all rotate through a placement at the mine at some point, and it’s a lot easier to follow measures like social distancing on the much larger site – so it was quite an effective solution, and it allows them to continue in as normal a fashion as possible.
‘The safety of our apprentices and trainees is really important to us – and we also want to make sure that none of them are disadvantaged because of the pandemic.’
Maddi Cornwall is one of those 22 apprentices working at AGL Loy Yang – a first-year boilermaker.
‘A boilermaker is basically a welder,’ Maddi said with a laugh, ‘and I’ve come into the apprenticeship not knowing a great deal about the energy industry or having a lot of welding experience.’
‘I was nervous when I actually started. What if I didn’t like it, or what it I was rubbish at it? But I’m enjoying it so much.