QR Apprentice of the Year Awards

Electricians, diesel fitters and painters are among 29 talented apprentices chosen as finalists in this year’s QR Apprentice of the Year Awards.

QR’s Acting CEO Stephen Cantwell has announced the finalists, selected amid QR’s 474 apprentices across Queensland.

The finalists, from areas including Brisbane, Toowoomba, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay Townsville and Cairns, work in varied roles across QR’s business groups QRNational Coal, Passenger Services, Infrastructure Services and Rollingstock and Component Services (RACS).

Cantwell says the fifth annual QR Apprentice of the Year Awards recognised and rewarded apprentices who had shown exceptional performance in their trades.

The finalists were selected after a rigorous assessment process focused on workplace performance, interviews and TAFE scores.

“I’d like to congratulate our finalists and thank all of our apprentices for the valuable contribution they make,” Cantwell says.

“The QR Apprentice of the Year Awards continue to go from strength to strength because of the extremely high calibre of our apprentices and our ongoing commitment to our apprentice program.”

“QR is dedicated to investing in the future by being a leading employer of apprentices in Queensland.”

QR has continued to employ many apprentices year after year since 1876, when 12-year-old William Humphries was hired to start as an apprentice engine fitter at the QR workshops in Rockhampton.

In addition to an overall Apprentice of the Year winner, three category winners (mechanical, electrotechnology, and construction and allied trades) and the recipient of the Simon Law Encouragement Award for a first-year apprentice will also be selected.

The winners will be announced at this year’s awards presentation dinner on 7 December at the Sofitel Brisbane.

Finalist Julie Wright, 26, a third-year apprentice systems electrician at RACS Redbank, says QR offered apprentices dynamic opportunities.

“I really like my job because it’s interesting and I’m constantly faced with challenges such as fault finding and studying theory at TAFE,” she says.

“I’ve always wanted to move up into management and you can achieve that — QR helps you get from the workshop floor to management.”

“I think it is great QR is focused on recruiting and retaining apprentices because they bring innovation to the organisation.”

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