GWHV connects trainee to bright future

Kirste Floyd Energy, News

A visit to a Girls With Hi-Vis event in 2023 opened up a whole new world for then 16-year-old Sofie McCormick.

Sofie attended a Canterbury GWHV event hosted by infrastructure services company Ventia while still a student at local Ellesmere College. With her interest piqued in an infrastructure trade career, Sofie then landed an introduction to a possible apprenticeship with Ventia.

Under Ventia’s supervision, Sophie is working as a trade assistant as a trial leading into a possible apprenticeship. Ventia is giving Sofie a taste of the job, and once Sophie and Ventia are both happy for Sofie to embark on a career as an electrician, Ventia will offer her an apprenticeship.

“I’ve been doing my Level 2 qualification so I’m doing course book work Monday to Thursday and then work experience on Friday,” she says. “I’ve run cables, soldered copper bars, and bolter droppers on to circuit breakers.

“All the people are really kind and easy to work with, and just learning all about electricity and how it all works has been really interesting. I had no idea about what goes on behind the scenes to keep our power running.”

Sofie says GWHV was a great introduction to working in an infrastructure trade role like an electricity supply industry electrician. “I liked how interactive it was. We did a range of different things [at the GWHV event] and I think it painted a really good picture of what kind of work you could be getting into.”

Being a part of GWHV also introduced Sofie to Ventia, its work and the types of jobs it offered, which she hadn’t known about previously. She recommends attending GWHV events and learning more about jobs in different infrastructure sectors to other young women considering their career options.

“I think this is a really good industry to get into. There are so many different paths you can take. You keep learning and learning about different things as you go along.”

Ventia apprentice assessor Andrew Massie says GWHV offers the company a great opportunity to connect with local schools and make students aware of the company’s “invisible” industry.

“We say invisible because nobody takes notice of electricity supply until it stops. We are getting ourselves into a position to be able to recruit from these schools and encourage students to enrol in pre-trade courses for future employment. Sofie is an exception to that thanks to her fantastic attitude,” Andrew says.

Massie says Sofie’s attitude and approach to her training should ensure she has a bright future in the industry.

“Sofie has all the hallmarks of a great apprentice and tradie. She has an awesome attitude, drive, grit and determination, as well as passion for the industry. We have no doubt she will be hugely successful.”