Josie wins Apprentice of the Year (Non-Civil)

8 May, 2023

RJV’s apprentice mechanic Josie Nelson has taken home the Apprentice of the Year (Non-Civil) award at the Western Australian Civil Construction Industry & Training Awards!

Josie was announced as the winner at Friday night’s Gala Dinner held at Crown Perth.

Since joining RJV in early 2022, Josie’s enthusiasm, determination, energy and resilience have been contagious, and she has delivered excellence in everything she does.

Josie was first introduced to us through the Motivation Foundation where she was completing training in civil construction and plant operation. She left school at aged 15 knowing she wanted to learn practical, hands-on skills. She found Motivation Foundation online and, convinced it was the right pathway for her, fiercely pursued a place with the organisation.   

Josie says that while it was great learning how to operate the machinery during her time at Motivation Foundation, she needed to know how plant worked mechanically. She would regularly ask her lecturers questions to gain an understanding of what was happening under the hood when she was doing her pre-starts, and would watch eagerly when the HD mechanics were working.

During one of our visits to Motivation Foundation, Josie shared with us her passion for mechanics and asked if we had any opportunities. At that time, there were no vacancies. Plus, she would need her licence to be able to work with RJV. At the time she was only 16. She persisted, and the very day she got her licence she called us to again ask if we could offer her anything. Impressed with her determination, we offered her a part time support role while she completed her certifications at Motivation Foundation.

During the five month role, she showed great enthusiasm and initiative and we were delighted to offer her the opportunity of an apprenticeship as a mechanic in mid 2022. She graciously accepted and become RJV’s first female apprentice mechanic. Our workshop manager Brian said he hadn’t seen anyone so excited and grateful to be presented with an opportunity!

Josie began her apprenticeship with initial duties that gave her a solid understanding of having a safe work environment. Since then, Josie’s duties and responsibilities have grown along with her knowledge.

Josie has shown exceptional growth in the role and is now able to complete with confidence the daily safety inspections identifying hazards or improvements, in addition to completing scheduled servicing and inspections using diagnostic tooling to resolve faults and calibrations. Watching Josie work through her maintenance tasks, it is pleasing to see that she works in a safe manner and plans her safety tasks, wheel chocks, isolation, release stored energy, and correct PPE prior to proceeding.

Josie always carries a positive attitude and enjoys being part of the RJV team culture. Josie has always showed a proactive approach to learning new skills and has quickly come to understand our methodology – there is a great deal to learn in a company that allows and encourages its team members to contribute at all levels.

She goes above and beyond to help her team and this is shown with her attendance and punctuality which is exemplary, arriving at work 10-15 minutes early and always engaging with staff with a bright and cheery “good morning”. She is an extremely polite and well-mannered individual who is always keen to learn.

It is a pleasure to have Josie as part of our team here at RJV. We hope she will inspire many more women into mechanical roles both here at RJV and in the industry as a whole. We need them! Congratulations Josie.


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