One of our second-year apprentices has been named a finalist in the WA Women in Building and Construction Industry Awards this year, in the Apprentice/Trainee of the Year category.

Venture Smart Project Director Mick O'Bradaigh says that Aleisha Tinker is a promising and committed apprentice, and very deserving of the award. 

We're all looking forward to hearing if Aleisha takes out the award, but even as a finalist it's recognition of the great work she's been doing on our team," Mick says. 

Ventia, in partnership with Johnson Controls as a joint venture (JV) company called Venture Smart, commenced work on the Statewide Electrical Infrastructure Services Contract for client Main Roads Western Australia in 2018. 

The contract team are committed to supporting young apprentices and trainees, and currently have nine apprentices learning on the job. 

"Through this contract, Venture Smart handles planned and reactive maintenance for all Main Roads WA's electrical assets across WA including street lighting, traffic signals, speed limit signs, help phones, CCTV, variable message signs, vehicle detection systems, fibre networks, bluetooth travel time units, bores and pumps, and warning signals," Mick explains.

"That provides a lot of scope for trainees and apprentices to gain skills in a wide variety of environments and on lots of different assets. It's a great way to kick start their career.'

Aleisha agrees with Mick and says that the opportunity to learn such a wide variety of skills is a great advantage to her in her apprenticeship with Venture Smart. 

I love a hands-on job, and I don't enjoy sitting in an office all day.

 "I was good at maths at school, so it's great being able to put that to use too', she says. 


Applying learnings on and off the job

The preference for working with her hands is the reason Aleisha left her job as a product manager for a timber company to take up her apprenticeship, and after spending her first year with a solar company, she was excited to join Venture Smart in March this year. 

"I really enjoy being able to put what I learn at TAFE into practice," Aleisha says. "One interesting job I was involved in was wiring up traffic lights. As a motorist you have no idea how complex they are, you just think they turn on and off!"

Aleisha grew up on a property in Pinjara, south of Perth and says her newly acquired skills come in handy when she visits. 

She's looking forward to the award ceremony this week week. "I feel proud of myself," she says. "But also a bit nervous."

General Manager Road Transport Operations David McPadden says that it was great to hear about one of our talented apprentices being recognised. 

Aleisha certainly has a bright future within Ventia," David says.  "I look forward to seeing her career develop.

"Equally, this is also great recognition of Mick and his team's leadership and commitment in driving diversity. I know personally how passionate Mick is about challenging the norm to drive meaningful change across the industry."



Nomimated as Host of the Year

In addition to Aleisha's award, the broader contract team have been nominated as Host of the Year through the awards. This recognises an organisation that has shown commitment to supporting apprentice training pathways through the Group Training Organisation in Western Australia.

Each year the Apprentice Employment Network WA (AEN WA) conducts training awards to reward and honour the achievements of apprentices, trainees and host employers, associated with member group training organisations. They note that this year's award nominations were of a high caliber. The presentation ceremony will be held in Burswood in Perth on Friday, 12 November.