Ten apprentice plumbers and gas fitters from around Australia will receive grants under a national scheme to ease financial pressures on new workers in the industry.
The Rheem Australia grants will give tradespeople a $3000 leg up for education costs and tools.
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Ten $3000 grants will be offered in 2023 through the program which has been running since 2012 and handed out more than $300,000 to train industry newcomers.
The judges are looking for applicants “who embody the qualities that make an exceptional plumber” and “who are passionate about what they do and how they’ve overcome adversity to get where they are”.
Each grant includes $2000 to go towards TAFE or Registered Training Organisation (RTO) fees and textbooks, to be electronically transferred to bank accounts, along with a $1000 tool voucher.
Previous grant recipient Teisha Sethi-Swindail encourages young people of all ages and genders to thrive in the industry, and said winning the grant helped her to stay on top of things during her studies.
“Switching careers to take up a plumbing apprenticeship in my mid-20s has caused a strain on my finances, so being awarded a Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant was such a huge help in making sure my bills are paid and that my toolkit is well stocked,” she said.
A 2022 recipient from Victoria, Michael Macdonald, was already an electrician when he decided to diversify his skills and become a dual tradesman during a pandemic quiet patch
“As an adult apprentice with a young family, it is great to feel supported and valued by such a well-known company who are constantly providing ongoing support towards apprentices and the industry,” he said.
The plumbing industry is estimated to have 100,300 workers by 2026, according to the government’s labour market insights.
Here is everything you need to know about grant eligibility and the application process.
Am I eligible?
If you are working as an apprentice plumber or gas fitter in 2023 and hold a valid student ID for TAFE, an RDO, or a school for those enrolled in a school-based apprenticeship, you are eligible to apply for a grant.
You won’t need to provide your ID unless you are shortlisted.
If you’ve entered the grant program before but have previously been unsuccessful, you can enter again.
There are no age limits on the grant application, and previous grant winners have ranged from school-based apprentices to 64-year-old apprentices.
How do I apply?
Applicants will need to fill out an entry online
Applications opened on Monday 30 January 2023 and will close at 11.59pm on Friday 21 April 2023.
As part of the application form, applicants will need a reference from their employer – 100 words or less – included in the submission.
Applicants will also be able to talk about their involvement in their communities and career aspirations for the future. They will be assessed by a panel of independent industry experts and a Rheem adjudicator.
To begin your application, click here.
Grant recipients will be announced on Tuesday 23 May 2023.
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