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Program Gives Electrical Apprentices ‘Best Possible Start’ to Their Careers

08 March 2021

Featured image from left – some of the program’s mentors at the launch event; Right – apprentices and mentors take part in a training session. Photos supplied by Stowe Australia.

One of My Gateway’s long-standing electrical host businesses, Stowe Australia, is aiming to give young apprentices a smooth transition into the workforce with its new mentoring program. 

The program is for new apprentices, who commenced the first year of their trade in 2021Stowe has welcomed 28 new apprentices across the Sydney region this year, including four My Gateway apprentices. Each apprentice has been partnered up with a dedicated mentor, who they will meet with monthly in their first year.   

Craig Pendleton, Stowe’s Mentor Development Manager & Trainer, said the mentors will play a key role in ensuring the apprentices feel comfortable in their new working environments. 

The mentor is typically not based in their direct team so it gives the apprentice the opportunity to speak openly about any issues or concerns they may have about things that are impacting them,” he said.  

Like any organisation we have our own unique culture at Stowe and it is the mentor’s job to help the apprentice understand and adapt to our culture. We also will have our mentors working to develop and improve the apprentices in areas such as goal setting, organisational skills and strategies to develop resilience. 

Craig said the motivation behind the program is a combination of several things, including mental health and the issues that young people can face. He said it is a way to give apprentices the “best possible start” to their careers. 

We recognised what a culture shock the workplace can be compared to school life and in a large, busy company, sometimes people can fall through the cracks,” Craig said.  

It is also recognition of the mental health challenges faced by young people today. In addition to mentor training, all participants have also attended an Accidental Counsellor/Mental Health First Aid course. 

The feedback on the program has been very positive so far, from apprentices and their parents. While the program is in its infancy, this feedback is an encouraging sign for Stowe and how it may like to grow the program in the future.  

We have a great team of mentors who are passionate about the program,” Craig said.  

“Even though we are only a few weeks in, we have been getting some great ideas from them on how to grow and improve the program. I expect that the company will look at rolling this out on a national basis once we have got the formula right.