YARRAMUNDI plumbing apprentice Aidan Dunn is one of 10 apprentices around the country to win a National Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant.
The 19-year-old attends Mount Druitt TAFE, and as a grant recipient will receive $2000 to put towards his TAFE fees, a $1000 tool voucher, and a tool bag.
“It was a bit of a shock at first, but it’s an amazing opportunity,” said Aidan of the grant.
He wants to start a plumbing business after completing his six-year apprenticeship, and said the grant would be “very, very helpful”.
“I’m very passionate about starting a plumbing business, doing the best I can in plumbing and learning from my boss,” he told the Gazette.
“When I reach the end of my course and start setting-up my business initially, having funds now is very useful for building a tool base so I’m ready for when I depart. It will help with saving up for a vehicle, too. I’d like to say a big ‘thankyou’ to Rheem!”
Aidan began his apprenticeship at the beginning of this year, and was encouraged to enter the competition by his boss, who runs Central Mountains Plumbing Services based in Hazelbrook.
“We were getting some materials from Reece one day and he said ‘hold on, wait a sec’, and he gathered the form and explained the competition to me. He said, ‘you’re not going to win it if you’re not in it!” Aidan said.
In 2015, Aidan went to Nepal to volunteer after the earthquakes. Once he is a qualified plumber, he wants to go back to lend his skills to communities there.
“I went with Fusion - a youth community work organisation. We ran festivals in some of the communities, to bring back some joy into the lives of people after that tragedy,” he said.
“And I thought, maybe I’d go overseas one day with my plumbing and do some for people who aren’t as advantaged as we are in Australia.
“The plumbing over there, in terms of their drainage, all their sewers run into the creek - it’s very different to Australia.”
Rheem kicked-off the apprentice plumber grants in 2012 to mark its 75th anniversary since it began manufacturing in Australia. The grants are designed to invest in the plumbing industry’s skills future and provide training support.