Become an apprentice

Bring your A Game to Downer - become an Apprentice

Are you energetic, ambitious and keen to learn?

An apprenticeship with Downer is a great way to secure a pathway into our large and diverse workforce. You can combine paid work and training on some exciting projects, developing many of the practical skills that we require of our teams. Downer offers apprenticeships across its Rail, Mining and New Zealand businesses.

Read about some of our apprentices below.


"I wanted to earn - and learn."

"When I saw the ad on for the Apprenticeship online I knew was interested, so I got my application in and then a call back asking me to come in for an interview.

I've never done anything like this before. For me, it was either go to work or just go to study - I've never had the option of something combined.

The interview was great, it wasn't too pressured, we just had a discussion; and I felt comfortable enough that what I didn't know, I asked. It was good for me to learn more about what Downer actually does. I learned about the Downer Alliance here in Hamilton, and I got a really good scope about what actually goes on.

Honestly, before the interview I didn't appreciate that, I thought Downer pretty much just worked on roads. It has been great finding out about the rest - all the projects in water, power, infrastructure, telecommunications - everything!

It's been great just putting things together, when you see people on a job and it is like 'ohh that's what you do!' 'that's how that works.' It's been great connecting all the dots.

The main thing I am excited about is gaining this new knowledge each day, learning as I go, and knowing it leads to a proper qualification. In my other workplaces there may have been workshops, there may have been training but I never had the opportunity to get a full qualification.

If you are considering this - I say go for it. You're working, you get this qualification and so much more as well. Don't let anything stop you.

If you want to earn, and really learn at the same time, then Downer is the place to be."

Chelsea Marui-Salmon joined the Downer Apprenticeship programme in early 2017 and over the course of the next 3 – 4 years will be studying a number of qualifications which lead to a Level 4 certificate whilst working as part of the team in Hamilton, New Zealand.





Apprentice of the Year profile: Ben

24 year old Ben Lawrence is 2 years into his Apprenticeship, and won Infrastructure Services Apprentice of the Year in 2015.

"I've always been hands on, and learned best from doing the work and being shown rather than just reading it in a book. That's the way my boss has taught me throughout this apprenticeship - everything is hands on.

Learning the theory side of things as well as the physical means I better understand of how it all works - from the start to the finish. I can also now teach and help the new people that come and work with us. And it was great to tell my partner that the work I was doing every day was leading to a qualification.

I was stoked when my boss told me I was Apprentice of the year last year. It was great that my work and what I've been showing my team paid off. I was just moving house so it was great to get the prezzi card as well.

If you are considering a course like this - you should just go for it.  You get so much out of it, you won't regret it!"

The purpose of the Apprenticeship Awards is just one of the ways we recognise excellence in our employees, and highlight the value we place on committed apprentices within the business.

Winners are recognised each year with an award trophy and a prize.


Christmas Creek trainees join industry-first apprentice program

Our Mining business has implemented a range of strategies to address the under-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people in the Australian workforce. In the past financial year, this resulted in an increase in our ATSI participation rate of 10% to 4.8%; well above the current estimated industry average of 2.6%.

Recently, we formally joined with our customer FMG and its other key contracting partners in its innovative apprenticeship program, known as “Trade Up”, which will increase the number of qualified Aboriginal tradespeople in the workforce across its Pilbara sites. Trade Up is an industry first in both its scale and potential impact. 

Up to 40 Aboriginal employees will be selected annually to start a 12-month traineeship, which will provide a pathway to a four-year apprenticeship program. Four of our Christmas Creek employees have been selected for the first intake. 

The Hon. Liza Harvey MLA WA Minister for Police, Road Safety, Training and Workforce Development and Women’s Interests joined FMG Chief Executive Officer Nev Power to officially launch Trade Up.

Mr Power said: “We’re proud to be leading the way in training for guaranteed jobs for Aboriginal people. The Trade Up program will open up the lifechanging opportunity of a trade qualification for up to 40 Aboriginal employees every year.

“We particularly welcome the support and collaboration of our key contracting partners in this innovative program, which sets a new benchmark for industry-led Aboriginal apprenticeship schemes. All of the participating contractors will provide opportunities for work in a range of businesses and different trades for the successful applicants, ensuring the success of the program.”

Izabella scoops industry awards

Second year electrical apprentice Izabella Wielga has capped off an amazing year winning the prestigious EPIC ITB Outstanding Apprentice 2015 Award. 

Recognising Izabella’s academic excellence in the first year of her apprenticeship, this national award is the icing on the cake for Izabella having already won the regional  for Victoria and Tasmania.

Currently working onsite at the Monash Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Izabella is a highly valued apprentice.
said David Colasante, EGM Commercial Contracting, EC&M. 

For Izabella these awards represent the pinnacle of her chosen field. EPIC ITB is the Electrotechnology, Printing, IT and Communications Industry Training Board and NECA is the National Electrical and Communications Association which is the peak industry body that represents the best interests of the electrical and communications contracting industry in Australia.

As part of the EPIC ITB Award Izabella received $500 cash as well tools and equipment.

Congratulations Izabella on your outstanding achievements!