JIB Apprentice Exchange winner arrives in Brisbane

Matthew Pickering of NG Bailey has touched down in Brisbane, Australia, on his JIB Apprentice Exchange trip.

On arrival, Matthew was picked up by Donna Pickford, CEO of training organisation Electrogroup, and taken to his apartment before getting to know his way around his host city. He said: “After a rest day to help recover from the jetlag, I spent the day walking around the city. I visited the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens that have been here since 1855 and walked up the South Bank of the city. It was great to have the day off to see the centre of Brisbane and get my bearings for the week.”

He has now spent his first week with Electrogroup, visiting sites and meeting apprentices and has been impressed with the overall set up. Matthew said: “It’s a great system they have here, as the officers see their apprentices every two months as a minimum. They’re always available on the phone to discuss any issues or questions they may have, and I feel this regular contact point is incredibly valuable for the apprentices.”

Matthew has also spent time at the Electrogroup offices, talking to students about his experiences as an electrician in the UK and learning more about the apprenticeship system in Queensland. This gave him the opportunity to see how Electrogroup supports both apprentices on programme, and those who have completed with their upskilling and CPD training.

In his free time Matthew has had an introduction to Australia’s National Rugby League, watching a match between two rival teams in a local bar – “you could tell there was some clear rivalry!” – as well as getting familiar with Brisbane’s diverse choice of cuisine, concluding: “Brisbane has a lot of independent breweries around the city and an endless choice of  restaurants serving food from every part of the world. In that respect it did remind me of London, but with a subtropical climate!”

Keep an eye out on the JIB website for further updates from Matthew as he continues his exchange trip across a number of the larger construction sites in Queensland.