Our journey to achieve our 20 by 2020 vision
FROM LITTLE THINGS BIG THINGS GROW
In November 2016, Whadjuk Noongar man Frank Mitchell made the ambitious pledge to create 20 aboriginal electrical apprenticeships by 2020.
So how did we go?
28 December, 2020
"I became a first-time business owner in 2015. At the time, we had nine employees and I was excited by the prospect of not only being a manager, but a leader as well. I recognised that my acceleration from apprentice, to electrician, to project manager, to Director, to co-owner, had all started with something that was beyond my control. The opportunity presented itself because someone recognised the potential in me and was willing to give me a chance. I didn’t understand the word ‘reciprocity’ until later, but I understood that with opportunity comes responsibility and I wanted to make that same difference to others who needed a hand up.
In December 2016, I made a pledge to create 20 electrical apprenticeships by the end of 2020 for Aboriginal men and women. We started with just two apprentices in the first year. I was a little worried that we might have set ourselves an impossible goal and was destined for failure, but we kept going.
Here we are, four years later. Although we created 12 x electrical apprenticeships, we created 22 positions in total due to the evolution of Wilco. The numbers were 12 x Electrical Apprenticeships, 3 x Construction Traineeships, 3 x Admin Traineeships and 3 x Trade Assistant positions. Out of those 22, only the TA positions were casual.
If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. I could not have done this without the support of my incredible partners Tim Bidstrup at Wilco Electrical and Dwayne Rowland at Kardan Construction. They are just as inspired and energised about making a difference as I am. Thank you to our extended work team who have been absolutely magnificent in being supervisors, trainers and mentors to all the Aboriginal men and women on this journey.
Importantly, we would not have been able to achieve this journey without the support of you. Our clients!! Since November 2016, we have been moved by the personal emails showing your support. The praise when we catch up at a site meeting. The positive feedback overall from various individuals across our client network always gave us just that little extra spring in our step to work just that little harder into the night.
You gave us a chance and stood in solidarity beside us as we strived to grow a culture of corporate social responsibility. Reciprocity unifies people, and together we stand united!"