SA Water electrical apprentice Jacob Saunders has narrowly missed out on claiming Apprentice of the Year at the 2019 SA Training Awards in Adelaide on Friday night, after competing as one of four finalists.
Based in Berri, Jacob holds a Certificate III in Electrotechnology and has been involved in major projects such as upgrading the Lake Victoria inlet regulator and multiple wastewater pump stations in the metropolitan and regional network.
Jacob, who began his apprenticeship with SA Water in 2015, said he was chuffed to be recognised on a statewide platform.
“I’m humbled to have been a finalist, and although the award isn’t coming home with me to Loxton, it was a fantastic experience and the recognition is a testament to what you can achieve when you’re dedicated and chase your full potential,” Jacob said.
“I was sure of my career path from a young age, and working alongside a group of highly-capable, supportive tradespeople at SA Water helped build my skillset.
“The size and breadth of SA Water makes it a wonderful place to hone your craft, with our vast network and infrastructure providing different scenarios to apply the theory you’ve learned.”
The SA Training Awards, hosted by the Training and Skills Commission, are the state’s peak awards for vocational education and training, recognising quality, excellence and innovation in training.
Jacob was selected by the judging panel as one of four state finalists in July following a rigorous nomination process, vying for the award in company with culinary, engineering and plumbing apprentices.
Earlier this year, Jacob was awarded the Regional Riverland and Mallee Apprentice of the Year title.
SA Water’s Senior Manager of Maintenance Nima Gorjian Jolfaei said Jacob’s growth and positive attitude provides an exceptional blueprint for younger apprentices to follow.
“From his first day, Jacob displayed a willingness to learn and absorbed as much knowledge as he could, so it’s no surprise his career is progressing in leaps and bounds – this latest achievement will motivate him to take his development to the next level,” Nima said.
“There’s a wealth of knowledge across our business and my colleagues are all so willing to help mentor people new to their role, but you still need to make the effort to learn.”
More than 60 per cent of the apprentices employed by SA Water over the past 10 years are still with the organisation, with many forging careers that have extended their skills and experiences across different parts of the business.
“Apprenticeships in our regional teams create local job opportunities that can turn into long-term careers and take you right across our state,” Nima said.
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