2018 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants Winners

2018 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants Winners - Rheem

Rheem Australia awards over $30,000 in grants to deserving apprentice plumbers

$213,500 in total awarded by Rheem since 2012

27 April, 2017

For the sixth year, Rheem Australia, the country’s leading water heater manufacturer has awarded 10 deserving apprentice plumbers with a total of $30,000 as part of the 2018 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants. This year’s outstanding winners include first-year apprentice and former soldier Steven Bostock from NSW, who was once awarded a Military Combat Coin from the NATO Commanding General in Afghanistan for outstanding leadership on the front line.

It’s hoped the grants will entice more apprenticeships and help those plumbing apprentices that are doing it tough. Research shows that apprentices are struggling with the cost of living and are increasingly in debt. In a major national survey of apprentices conducted by AMWU (2015), it revealed more than half (60%) are struggling to pay their bills and have less than one month’s pay in savings.

Rheem Australia kicked off the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants in 2012 and since then has awarded $210,000 in grants. The 2018 recipients each receive $2,000 to go towards their TAFE/RTO fees and/or text books, a $1,000 tool voucher, plus a tool tote bag.

“The plumbing industry has provided immense support to Rheem over more than 80 years and these grants are designed as a thank you and to help foster the next generation of plumbers,” says Rheem Chief Operating Officer Chris Taylor. “With data showing apprenticeships have declined in Australia, we are happy to play a small role in helping encourage those who might be struggling financially or need a morale boost to continue with their studies.”

This year there was a record number of applications and the standard was especially high, so Rheem has announced that in addition to the 10 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants it will also be awarding nine apprentice plumbers with a special $500 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Recognition Award.

“Our judges certainly had a tough decision this year – we had many stellar apprentice plumbers apply for a Grant,” says Taylor. “That’s why we made the decision to create these additional, special Recognition Awards.

“We would like to thank all our applicants, their employers, TAFE and RTO teachers and plumbing merchants. Since we launched the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grants six years ago, we have discovered just how many amazing apprentices there are around Australia, and we’re thrilled we can assist with fostering this next generation.”

The applications were reviewed by three judges: Bruce Lennon, a plumbing teacher with TAFE NSW, Greg Smyth, a plumber from Darebin Gas, and Jon Palfrey, Rheem’s Training Manager and a former plumber.

Here are just some of the outstanding winning applications Rheem received:

  • Eilish Anderson-Grundon, a fourth-year apprentice from Queensland, who is described by her employer as outperforming any other apprentice he has been involved with in 20+ years working in plumbing across several countries. Eilish also plays high level women’s AFL in the Queensland AFL League.
  • Luke Morphett, a mature age first-year apprentice from Tasmania, who wants to be known as a tradesman who does quality work and has a keen interest in hydronic heating.
  • Amber Shelton, a first-year apprentice from South Australia whose employer says “Amber is proof that women can not only work in this industry but also excel”.
  • Whyatt Ross, a third-year Victorian apprentice who has strong leadership qualities and is extremely passionate about plumbing. His life revolves around the skills and abilities of his trade, and he enjoys helping others in the community.

Since the Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant program was launched in 2012, $213,500 in grants have been awarded to 302 apprentices. The full list of this year’s recipients can be found on the Rheem website - www.rheem.com.au/apprentice