Matthew’s diary – Week 2: Hospital developments and sunrise swims

During his second week in Brisbane, Matthew Pickering has been out and about on site visits and speaking to more apprentices about life as an electrician in Australia.

Sites visited have included a new apartment block in Gold Coast overlooking the beach, a new bus terminal that will be deploying solar energy to charge its buses, and several hospital new-builds or refurbishments. Matthew explained: “There is a $9.78 billion investment in the Queensland territory in expanding or building new hospitals to increase capacity in the territory – which explains why there are so many apprentices stationed on hospital and satellite hospital jobs here.”

At the apartment block Matthew found the workforce happy to be working in the air-conditioned penthouse suite – with temperatures as high as 32°C outside.

Matthew has learned more about how apprentices chart their progress through Electrogroup. “All apprentices have to upload a ‘card’ weekly detailing what they’ve worked on that week. This is split across a range of disciplines such as fault finding, testing and cable termination to name a few. Apprentices have an online profile where they and their supervisors can login to check the apprentices are covering a sufficient range and volume of experience over their apprenticeship. This card system over the course of the apprenticeship helps guarantee the apprentice is receiving the requisite minimum experience (5,500 hours over 4 years) to be deemed competent.”

At the end of his second week Matthew drove to the beaches at Mooloolaba before sunrise, where he saw groups of people already swimming at 6am. He said: “Early morning beach visits seem to be a part of the local culture in Mooloolaba. Luckily the sea was warm enough, but it’s definitely something you wouldn’t see much of in the UK!”

Keep an eye out on the JIB website for further updates from Matthew as he continues his exchange trip, meeting more electrical apprentices and exploring Queensland.