Trainees Get Their Break; Group Gains Coveted Apprenticeships with One of Biggest Operators in Industry

Article excerpt

Lynnis

Bonanno

Chief Reporter

lynnis.bonanno@dailymercury.com.au

IT COULD be regarded as the Holy Grail of apprenticeships a a start with Hastings Deering, one of the biggest operations in the world and one which underpins the construction and mining industry.

For the 64 apprentices who filled a room in the cityas new Mackay Engineering College next to CQUniversity, yesterday was the day they had been working towards and looking forward to for months, if not years.

As 19-year-old Nathan Fitzgerald put it, an apprenticeship at Hastings Deering, a Caterpillar heavy equipment network, is the pinnacle if achievement.

Even though he had completed the first year of an equivalent apprenticeship in NSW, he made the move to Mackay to start his apprenticeship all over again.

aThis is probably the best that you can do, theyare the best in the business,a Nathan said.

aI just moved up here from Sydney, where I did a year as a heavy vehicle road transport mechanic, which is the same kind of thing as diesel fitting.

aIall be starting again as a first year, but itas worth it to get the job here.a

Though Morgan Smith, 23, of Mackay had not travelled as far as Nathan to get his start with the company, he was equally keen to be launching into his trade as a fitter and turner. …

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