Shout out to SA’s Sparkie of the Year

Trailblazing third year electrician in training, Shelley Elliott, has been awarded the title of Apprentice of the Year by TAFE SA and leading  electrical equipment and accessories provider, Clipsal by Schneider Electric (Clipsal).

Part of the ‘Sparkies Scholarship’ program, the highly contested award saw Shelley beat nine of her peers to win a $5,000 grant to kick start  her career.

Presenting to a panel of five judges, Shelley and fellow sparkies navigated through the competition for four months. The selection process  challenged each apprentice to learn how to manage their own business while undertaking hands-on training for the latest in electrical  products that will shape the future of the industry, including Clipsal’s Wiser Smart Home technology.

The final challenge invited participants to present an innovative business plan for their own electrical servicing business. Speaking on the  program, Shelley said, “I signed up to the program to meet new people, get familiar with industry leading electrical products and learn how  to run my own business from TAFE SA’s industry experts.”

Each student selected a customer persona and was tasked with developing an angle to support sales with their customer segment. Shelley  chose the ‘outsourcers’ audience, those who wanted to upgrade their home but didn’t have the time or knowledge to tackle it.

“The program opened my eyes to understanding what the customer wants and working with them directly, as well as with the contractor.”  Shelley continued, “For the next generation of sparkies, I could not recommend this apprenticeship program more highly. To go on to win  the coveted Sparkie of the Year award is one of the greatest achievements in my career so far.”

Taking students out of their comfort zones was key to helping them develop professionally, Scott Fereday, Principal Lecturer at TAFE SA  explained, “Our students stepped up to the plate, demonstrating their business savvy to a real-world challenge while offering an innovative  proposition to their nominated customer.”

Moore added, “Diversity of education and experience sets the Sparkie Scholarship program above the rest. The future is bright for the next  league of sparkies coming up the ranks and we look forward to kicking off the program again in 2022.”

The scholarship is open to third year TAFE SA electrical apprentices, selected by TAFE SA across its nine delivery campuses. TAFE SA trains  approximately 1,500 electrical apprentices annually. Clipsal provided specialised training and mentoring through leading electricians from  the Club Clipsal program, undertaking hands-on sessions with the latest technology and products.

Way to go, Shelley!