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NewsFebruary 13th, 2023

New Faces, New Energy, New Skills: Welcoming Our 2023 Apprentices

The learning is underway for Bradken’s newest group of future tradespeople beginning their apprenticeships at various sites across our New South Wales and Queensland-based Mining & Sugar Services team.

Three people, two women and one man, stand in front of an excavator bucket wearing yellow hi-viz uniforms and white hard hats with the Bradken logo on them.
This latest intake brings seven new faces into our diverse cohort of apprentices, three of whom are existing Bradken employees taking advantage of the opportunity to upskill.
Of the seven, five are undertaking Boilermaker apprenticeships – Skye Veljanovski, Elizabeth Ball and Charlie Watson, all based at our Mt Thorley workshop in the New South Wales Hunter Valley, Pacey Jenkins based at our Innisfail, Queensland Sugar Services manufacturing facility and Baxter Powell also in Queensland, based at our site in Ipswich.
Jason Ahshay and Kris Kuelahway are both upskilling as Fitter and Turner apprentices and are also based in Innisfail. Meet this years’ new apprentices below.
Amanda McNaughton, Executive General Manager Operations for Bradken said she is encouraged by the diversity within this new apprentice group that includes women and men of varying levels of experience, ranging in age from 18 to 28.
“I am so pleased to welcome our latest group of apprentices and I’m looking forward to following their journeys and celebrating their achievements over the course of their training,” Amanda said.
“As a global company, we appreciate that having a diverse workforce introduces a range of different perspectives and unique ideas that deliver value for an organisation - it’s an important part of creating a sustainable business.
“Importantly we want to set our new team members up for a successful future, so they will be partnered with some of our most experienced and knowledgeable team members who can guide and mentor them, and teach valuable skills that will remain with them for life.
“I think it’s timely, that as Bradken starts it’s second century in operation, we are also welcoming this group of eager and energised young people who are entering a new chapter in their careers protecting both their and Bradken’s futures.”
Bradken is committed to developing new and existing talent and apprenticeships are just one way we support the education of future generations of skilled professionals in the communities we operate in.

WA Apprentice Program

Bradken is excited to extend its apprenticeship program to applicants based in Western Australia, with three new opportunities available at our manufacturing site in Bassendean:
  • Boilermaker/Welder
  • Industrial Electrician
  • Mechanical Fitter
If you’re looking to take on a new challenge this year and are hungry to learn from our team of industry professionals and develop skills that will carry you into the future, click here and search ‘Bradken’ for more information.
2023 First year Boilermaker apprentice Skye Veljanovski from Mt Thorley

Skye Veljanovski

First year apprentice Skye always knew she wanted to tackle a trade, but initially began working in aged care before setting her sights on becoming a Boilermaker.

“My Dad is a Boilermaker so it was something we heard a lot about at home, but it still came as a surprise to my family when I told them this was what I was doing,” Skye said.

“My whole experience at Bradken so far has been awesome. There’s been a lot to learn in the few short weeks I’ve been here, but I’ve been able to jump in and give things a go knowing there’s help there when I need it. I’m excited to see what experiences are in store for me.”

2023 First year Boilermaker apprentice Elizabeth Ball from Mt Thorley

Elizabeth Ball

When asked how she felt about her first few weeks as a Boilermaker apprentice at Bradken’s Mt Thorley site, Elizabeth says it’s been beyond her expectations.

“Honestly, it’s been amazing. The whole team has been so welcoming and I feel really at home. If I need help there is always someone there without hesitation to give me their advice.

“My favourite thing is how hands-on the learning is. I love working with my hands, blending and building things - I grew up shadowing my Dad in the shed while he was welding and did a bit myself here and there. I find the process fascinating.”

2023 first year Boilermaker apprentice Charlie Watson from Mt Thorley

Charlie Watson

Working as a Trades Assistant at Bradken’s Mt Thorley site in New South Wales for almost a year helped Charlie develop his interest in welding and led him to start his Boilermaking apprenticeship this year.

“I’ve tried other things before, like Fitting and Turning and Carpentry but welding is the kind of work I love to do,” Charlie said.

“The team here have been great about me switching gears and focusing on this, it’s a really encouraging environment to work and learn in.”

Baxter Powell

An enthusiastic hands-on learner, 18-year-old first year apprentice Boilermaker Baxter has his sights set on the future, hoping to one day own his own fabrication business.

He said the people at Bradken’s site in Ipswich, Queensland have made the first weeks of his apprenticeship great.

“The people at Bradken have given me a great first impression of what doing my apprenticeship here will be like. They’re all really nice and helpful.”

Apprentice Kris Kuelahway from Innisfail, Queensland

Kris Kuelahway

Kris worked as a Production team member at Bradken’s site in Innisfail, Queensland for about a year before deciding to upskill by starting a Fitter and Turner apprenticeship.

“I’m not completely new to the work, but I’m really excited to be learning new things and hopefully taking on new responsibilities as I progress through my apprenticeship and achieve my qualifications,” Kris said.

“Everyone here gets on really well and the working environment is great. There’s lots of different people to learn from and we all look out for each other.”

2023 first year apprentice Jason Ahshay from Innisfail, Queensland

Jason Ahshay

As someone who enjoys taking on new challenges, 20-year-old Jason made the decision to pursue a Fitter and Turner apprenticeship with Bradken, having worked at our site in Innisfail, Queensland as a Production employee since August 2022.

“Working at Bradken is great, there’s variety in the work which makes my learning experience all the more interesting, and everything we do is done in the safest way possible,” Jason said.

“My teammates have all been really helpful and supportive of me taking on this apprenticeship.”

2023 first year apprentice Pacey Jenkins from Innisfail, Queensland

Pacey Jenkins

Innisfail local and first year apprentice Boilermaker Pacey said growing up in a sugar cane town, he’s always been interested in the infrastructure behind the industry, and wanted to pursue a career that would let him be part of it.

“I’m excited to be doing my apprenticeship with Bradken at their Sugar Services site and I’m looking forward to gaining as much knowledge and experience as I can from the great team of people here, so I can be the best tradesman I can be,” Pacey said.

“I’ve had friends give me advice on what the experience of learning a trade was going to be like, but so far it’s exceeded anything they told me.”


Become a Bradken Hosted Apprentice

Interested in learning a trade? Applications for Bradken’s 2023 apprenticeship intake for our West Australian operations are now open. If you’re keen to start your career with us, you can find more information and apply for available opportunities by clicking on the link below and searching for ‘Bradken’.

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