‘Personal significance’ to work for electricians

Watters Electrical has had a year of uncertainty with two major Shepparton education projects that offer ample work and new employment opportunities.

With the family business, which has contracts at Greater Shepparton Secondary College and the Mooroopna Integrated Early Learning Center, Watters Electrical has recruited 25 additional employees – most of whom are apprentice electricians.

Twelve of the new employees are fully qualified Class A electricians and 13 are new apprentices who are securing employment during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. The projects also made it possible to retain a further 15 employees.

The electrician Kahn Sutherland, 25, is particularly proud of the college development.

“Working on this project has a personal meaning for many of us on site,” said Sutherland.

“For me, who grew up in Shepparton, went to school at Wanganui Park Secondary College and did my training at Watters, this project gives me the opportunity to give something back to the community.

“It also feels good to know that my kids are going to school in a place I’ve worked with,” he said.

“For many other local workers from all professions, their children will be attending the new school in 2022 – so you can imagine how proud they will be to show their children the school.”

Peter Copley, General Manager of Watters, echoed Mr. Sutherland’s views.

“We look forward to investing again in a community that has supported us so much over the past few decades,” he said.

For the building contractor Hansen Yuncken and the building contractors on site, most of whom are based in the greater Shepparton area, the work could continue unabated by closures.

The college is classified as a Critical Government Infrastructure, and both the Hawdon Street location and the Integrated Early Learning Center on O’Brien Street, Mooroopna were nearing completion and had strict COVID-safe risk control and monitoring plans .

“These projects not only provide job safety and career paths for members of our community, they also advance the educational facilities, resources and results for our students now and for years to come,” said Copley.

Tobi Kennedy, Watters’ project manager, said that for many VCE graduates and mature apprentices, jobs are an important industry in the wider community.

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