Solar Integrity offers a chance for First Nations youth to shine

Three people face the camera and smile

Caption: Solar Integrity owners (from left) Brett Emo, Bobbi McKibbin and Luke Fraser.

Wodonga company Solar Integrity is inviting young Indigenous people interested in pursuing a career in the rapidly growing renewable energy sector to do work experience with them to find out more.

Solar Integrity is the latest local company to become an Employment Pathways Partner with On-Country Pathways. The business – established in 2017 – is excited to welcome its first work experience participants from local high schools soon.

Bobbi McKibbin, Solar Integrity’s Business and Community Engagement Manager said: “We are from small country towns, and we understand well the importance of grass roots organisations supporting people to get a start for themselves.”

She added:

“We are at the cutting edge of reshaping the electricity network, working with new technologies and involved in pilot programs. With 28,000 new jobs to be created in the sector before 2030, there are plenty of opportunities for young people to get involved in shaping our future.”

Bobbi is particularly keen to attract more young women into the industry, especially as electricians. She hopes by showing young Indigenous people what the renewable energy sector is about while they are still at school, the flow on effect will be applications for apprenticeships and traineeships with the company.

“We’d especially like to see more women training in the trades. Less than 2% of accredited solar installers in Australia are female – that’s a massive gender gap! We want young women to apply for apprenticeships and traineeships and consider the possibilities for the future. They could go on to further study, become engineers, even start their own businesses,” Bobbi explained.

On-Country Pathways Program Manager, Darren Moffitt, said this was a great opportunity for Indigenous students in Years 9 to 12 to learn about the renewable energy industry in a culturally safe environment.

“All our Employment Pathways Partners undergo cultural safety training,” he explained. “This means we work with the business to create an environment that is safe and welcoming for our young people, that does not challenge or deny their identity or experiences but supports them and encourages others to grow their knowledge of the oldest living cultures in the world,” Darren added.

Bobbi and her team are looking forward to the cultural safety training. “I believe awareness builds empathy and helps to break down barriers. We are really excited for our first work experience students to start. Let them thrive!” she said.

On-Country Pathways offers four unique programs to help Indigenous 15–24-year-olds find employment and career pathways into commercial construction and related trades in the Riverina area.

Visit our programs page for more information or contact us for a chat.

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