Employment opportunities for West Australian engineering students have been given a significant boost by industry through the Engineering Graduate Program.

CCI partnered with Horizon Power and Engineers Australia to launch the program in 2016 following a lack of employment opportunities for engineering graduates.

Three years ago, 26.5 per cent of new engineering graduates were available for full-time work but were unsuccessful in finding it due to lack of first-hand practical experience.

It was a situation that could have led to a long-term crisis if action wasn’t taken, according to CCI Chief Executive Officer Chris Rodwell.

“The Engineering Graduate Program is an example of industry at its best – collaborating to ensure our future engineers have the practical experience they need to build a skilled and sustainable workforce,” he says.

“WA has the most stable energy grid in the nation and now we have outstanding coordination in training up our next generation of energy leaders.”

The program – which has already allowed 10 WA graduates to gain full-time employment – has expanded to student internship placements after concerns were raised by universities and Engineers Australia that students were not able to obtain the industry work experience they need to graduate.

This week, six engineering students will complete their summer vacation work, giving them the 12-week work experience they require to graduate.

Horizon Power General Manager Power System Services Laurie Curro says Horizon Power is proud to support the program.

“We are delighted to be partnering with CCI and Engineers Australia to provide students with an opportunity to gain first-hand practical experience working in the profession,” he says.

“During their rotation at Horizon Power, students were able to gain applied industry skills working on a range of projects, including the Carnarvon Energy Storage Trial project, fault location tools, and overloading and thermal aging in transformers and cables.

“The program adds value to the profession as a whole by supporting local graduate development to drive innovation and engineering as a profession that will grow with WA industry.”

All graduates are also enrolled on a pathway to obtain their engineering professional credential ‘chartered status’ through Engineers Australia.

Engineers Australia General Manager WA Susan Kreemer Pickford says the program is a great example of creating a pipeline of talent for future energy projects.  

“Being part of this collaboration, Engineers Australia has the opportunity to strongly engage with the engineers from the outset. Our ongoing relationship will be a pivotal part of their growth,” she says.

“The program has been well received and exceeded all expectations in its first year. We now have 25 companies Australia-wide that have graduates on the program, which has been delivered in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.”

►To find out more about the Engineering Graduate Program or to register your interest in being a host company, call us on (08) 9365 7669 or email graduates@cciwa.com.