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GOTAFE Partners with Winton Solar Farm in Scholarship Program

GOTAFE has partnered with FRV Winton Solar Farm and established a unique scholarship program that will provide three new Electrical Engineering apprenticeships in the solar and renewable energy sector.

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Post date: 15th December 2020

North-East Victoria is making a name for itself in the field of renewable energy. FRV, a global renewable energy solutions provider and leading solar developer, is currently constructing the 84 megawatt AC Winton Solar Farm, near Benalla, Victoria.

As the development of the Winton Solar Farm site progresses, FRV is working to ensure the local community and regional economy benefit from this ground-breaking development through a range of initiatives and programs. As part of this commitment, GOTAFE has partnered with FRV Winton Solar Farm and established a unique scholarship program that will provide three new Electrical Engineering apprenticeships in the solar and renewable energy sector.

The partnership with GOTAFE will not only create opportunities for young people across North-East Victoria to gain genuine training in a long-term, sustainable industry, but will also bring economic and social benefit to the surrounding region.

Apprentices will receive funds to cover costs for a four-year electrical engineering apprenticeship and in addition, will be provided with on the job mentoring and skills from FRV employees and contractors working on the Winton Solar Farm site. Apprentices will also receive funding to complete a High Voltage Switching course in Melbourne, enabling them to apply for Clean Energy Council accreditation.

Winton Solar Farm Apprentices
"GOTAFE are exceptionally proud to be working with FRV and the Winton Solar Farm to be able to deliver these scholarships. We offer real-world, first class training to prepare the next generation of skilled workers to contribute to the success of our region."

GOTAFE CEO, Travis Heeney

The Winton Solar Farm is currently under construction with the site covering approximately 250ha. Upon completion, the solar energy captured from the farm will provide enough clean energy to power 52,000 homes. Further to the GOTAFE apprentice program, 29 new apprentices and trainees have been recruited to work on the Winton Solar Farm, in a major development for North-East Victoria’s growing solar industry.

FRV Managing Director, Carlo Frigerio said “Apprentices in our scholarship program will be exposed to a wealth of practical and professional training that will then enable them to work on any of the three solar farms proposed for the region – or within the growing solar industry more generally.

Successful applicants will ‘earn and learn’ while developing valuable skills in large-scale solar electrical engineering – a trade that is currently seeing increased demand as several new solar projects are developed within the region.

“In our view, it’s important to us to provide new training and work opportunities to help the local economy recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and to support North Eastern Victorian Apprentices to learn and work close to home,” Mr Frigerio said.

How to apply

To apply for one of the three apprentice scholarships in the Cert III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30811) at GOTAFE, your business needs to be within a 100km radius of the Winton Solar Farm.

Eligible local businesses and organisations are strongly encouraged to apply with an expression of interest. A panel consisting of both GOTAFE and FRV staff will review the applications and the successful applicants will be announced in early February.

Expressions of interest are to be sent to Brett Ambrosio, Director Of Technology & Built Environment, by COB Friday 22 January 2020. Full application details will be provided via this process.