School-based apprentice thrives at UGL

June 26, 2023
  • People and community

At UGL we’re happy when our employees love coming to work and learning. It’s not just about doing a job but growing as a person and continuing to develop your skills. Apprentices are an important part of how we operate, and we value our role in helping someone build their career. Apprenticeships strengthen the pipeline of future talent by creating capabilities at a grass roots level.

We’re proud of Tahlya Kennedy who joined UGL’s Mackay workshop in January and has thrived in her apprenticeship. Working with us two days a week as an electrical fitter apprentice and attending school on the other days, Tahlya is based in Mackay as a school-based apprentice, undertaking her apprenticeship under the School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT) program.

“I wish I could do more than two days a week I love it here,” she says.

It’s not just Tahlya that has been learning, but we have too!

“When Tahlya joined we realized that we needed to explain to her how tax works, things we take for granted that we already know. Also the slight differences with a workplace, that Tahlya doesn’t need to ask us if she can take a lunch break. It has been great for us to learn too,” Luke Schatkowski, UGL Mackay Workshop Manager says.

Tahlya has hit the ground running, working in the wheels section of the workshop and learning how to dismantle motors.

The 16-year-old first found her love for the trade after doing work experience elsewhere and hopes to join UGL full time in 2025 once she has finished school.

“The people here are really nice. They let you know it’s ok to ask questions and that you’re learning. They’re very supportive. I would never choose anything else,” Tahlya says.

Tahlya has been given a mentor who has finished her apprenticeship and is now working as a boilermaker for UGL. It’s an important part of making sure apprentices are supported throughout their learning. And Tahlya has some advice for others looking at apprenticeships, “Give it a try and find what you like”.
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