Rheem Australia supports Apprentice Plumbers

by Petrol Mum

Rheem Australia is encouraging Australian apprentice plumbers and gas fitters to apply for a share of the $30,000 in grants available from the 2021 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants scheme. Ten deserving apprentice plumbers from around Australia will be rewarded with a grant of $3,000 to support the progression of their study and help kickstart their career.

Now in its ninth year, the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants program was established to alleviate the financial strain felt by many apprentice plumbers, and to invest in the skills of future plumbers and provide assistance so that they can complete their courses. Grant recipients will receive $2,000 to assist with their TAFE/RTO fees and textbooks, and $1,000 to help newcomers build their all-important trade toolbox.

Last year, Geogia Ugov, an apprentice plumber from Tarago NSW and Jasmine Trentham, an apprentice plumber from Trentham VIC were two of the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants recipients. Seventeen-year-old Georgia and twenty-five-year-old Jasmine are currently both completing the first year of their apprenticeship.

“I knew from a young age that I never wanted to get stuck behind a desk but instead have a career that involved using my hands and problem solving. After completing the Women in Trade program, I realised without doubt that my future involved plumbing,” says Georgia Ugov, 2020 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant recipient.  

“As a woman in the industry, I have come to accept that I will never be as physically strong as some of my male colleagues. At times this can be frustrating because it puts me at a disadvantage with tasks that require great physical strength, but I’ve learned to not be afraid to ask for a hand and that no one is going to think less of me because of it,” says Georgia.

“I love plumbing because it allows me to challenge myself every day. Whether it’s learning new techniques, problem solving or adapting to new technologies, I’m always learning and pushing myself to be a better tradesperson,” says Jasmine Garner, 2020 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant recipient.

As lady tradies, Georgia and Jasmine represent a minority group, with females comprising just 1% of construction tradespeople. However, these young women haven’t let gender act as a barrier preventing them from following their passion for plumbing.  

“I would love to see more women involved in the industry! Plumbing is a great trade and I believe women have a lot to contribute to the industry. It would be great to educate high school students and young women considering their future on the benefits a career in plumbing can provide,” says Jasmine.

“Since launching the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants program in 2012, we’ve awarded $270,000 in grants to apprentice plumbers around Australia,” says Chief Operating Officer at Rheem, Chris Taylor.

“2021 presents new opportunities and challenges for plumbers and apprentices, with many members of our industry finding unique ways of working and growing as professionals. We at Rheem are engaged with, and committed to, the plumbing community and our involvement doesn’t stop with products and innovation. One of the most valuable ways we can support the future of our industry is by championing the education and training of Australia’s next generation of plumbers,” adds Taylor.

“Rheem’s success has been achieved through the ongoing support we have received from the plumbing community over the last 80 years. The grant scheme allows us to say thank you by supporting and inspiring the next generation of plumbers through direct assistance to where they need it the most. It opens doors to further study, such as continuing the optional fourth year where apprentices can earn their trade licence and dream of one day operating their own business,” he says.

The Rheem Apprentice Plumbers Grants are here to help aspiring plumbers achieve their goals. Since the program’s inception, Rheem has awarded 190 Grants to apprentice plumbers. Many of our applicants have had diverse paths that have led them to where they are today, but they all share two things; the ambition to become the next generation of plumbers, and the drive to make that a reality.

“I urge every apprentice plumber to apply for a 2021 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant. We’ve streamlined the application process this year to make it easier to apply than ever before. Apprentices have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” concludes Taylor.  

A panel of independent industry experts and a Rheem adjudicator will judge the 2021 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants. Applications for the 2021 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants program open on Monday 1 March 2021 and close at 11:59pm on Friday 30 April 2021. Successful grant recipients will be announced on Tuesday 8 June 2021.

Applicants must submit the completed form via the website at www.rheem.com.au/apprentice. Recipients of previous Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants are not eligible to enter. Please see the Rheem website for full terms and conditions www.rheem.com.au/apprentice.

Any questions regarding the application process should be emailed to rheemgrants@impactagency.com.au.

Photographs Supplied.

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