Female and mature age increase in 2019 Hastings recruits
EMU Park's Nicole Krause is paving the way for future female apprentices after joining six new Hastings Deering recruits from Rockhampton.
Ms Krause, 23, is one of nine female apprentices, joining a typically male-dominated industry.
This year, the construction and mining support company received its highest intake in five years, a record 75 new apprentices selected from 1600 applications.
Gender diversity was also evident in the latest intake, with the highest number of females applying for apprenticeships for auto electricians, boilermakers, diesel fitters, fitter machinists, mechanical fitters and electrical fitters.
After working as a service station attendant, Ms Krause decided to follow in her father's footsteps as a diesel fitter.
"It has long been a goal of mine to join Hastings Deering after seeing how much Dad loved working for the company,” she said.
"When I heard how many people had applied and then found out I was successful it was like a dream come true, I was so excited.
"I really enjoy the mining industry and certainly see myself working in the mining sector in years to come.”
There was also a focus on mature-age apprentices, with seven of the recruits considered mature-age; aged 21-years or over.
Only one of the recruits, Logan Hancock, 17, is straight from school, with the other seven coming from different avenues.
Other Rockhampton recruits include Michael Cawtha, 27 and Michael Smith, 26, who were both accepted for engine re-conditioning apprenticeships, Hastings fitter Ian Sait, 36, and former Callide Power Station scaffolder and rigger, Jacob Price, 25.
Ben Larsen, 24, another recruit, grew up on a farm and developed an interest in machines.
After working as a light vehicle mechanic, Mr Larsen wanted to make the move to big machines.
The eldest recruit, Ben Hinchcliffe, 37, worked as a trades assistant and crack tester for Hastings for six years and applied for the apprenticeship to better provide for his family.
Hastings Deering managing director Dean Mehmet said last year the company doubled its apprentice intake, rising even further this year with an additional 23 positions.
According to Mr Mehmet, the increase in numbers reaffirmed Hastings' commitment to equal opportunities, training and the need to continually replenish its talent pipeline.
"The resources sector is often cyclical, however continuing with apprenticeships is critical to avoid a skills shortage in the future,” he said.
"We need to continue to offer career pathways for both our young people and mature age workers along with ensuring our workplaces remain diverse.
"This is a very exciting time to be an apprentice with Hastings Deering.”