Challenge accepted

At Future Energy Skills, we acknowledge that all of our candidates come through our doors with diverse backgrounds and life experiences. We attempt to connect with them all in order to best support them as well as to learn more about their lives and journey in the electrotechnology industry.  

Danni-Elle, pictured here with David DeCata, Strategic Partnerships Manager at NHP Electrical Engineering Products, undertook licencing assessment at FES in early 2023. She was thrown down the challenge by David that he would provide her with an NHP T-Shirt and jacket if Danni-Elle successfully completed her assessment. NHP are an Australian company established in Melbourne in 1968, supplying industrial electrical switchgear, automation systems and solutions to the electrical industry. NHP firmly believes in working with industry and investing in the next generation. 

Danni-Elle has always been interested in the electrical field. Sparked on by sibling rivalry, when she was a child, Danni-Elle pulled apart a radio and taught herself how to put it back together again – much to her brother’s amazement. This was a light bulb moment. Danni-Elle realised she needed to pursue a career that was both hands on and allowed her to use her problem-solving skills. 

After completing secondary school, Danni-Elle undertook a pre-apprenticeship in electrotechnology that ultimately lead her to where we find her now. It was not easy to find her first job. Living in regional Victoria, she found it challenging to get an apprenticeship and spent months contacting prospective employers.  

Danni-Elle’s first job saw her spend much of her working days installing solar panels and undertaking some domestic installation work, and she is now working in the commercial electrical sector.  

Working in regional settings had its challenges as well as its funny side. One day she had to hide her tools from a goat, who kept stealing them from her work trailer, and on another occasion a chicken tried to hitch a ride in the work van! 

The COVID lockdowns provided additional challenges for Danni-Elle. As a single mum with two school age kids, she found herself on occasion out of work due to supply chain issues and contract completions. Danni-Elle took this as an opportunity to further her learning in other fields and worked in dry fire systems, large construction and lastly data, where she completely rewired a radio station.  

Danni-Elle currently enjoys working in the commercial sector and has the longer-term goal of continuing her career in the EBA commercial space.  Problem solving or fault finding is her favourite area of expertise and believes “that it is not necessarily about finding the fault, but your ability to ask the right questions” to be successful in this area. Danni-Elle is grateful for the experience she gained in other fields and would encourage all apprentices to undertake some domestic training as it is an important steppingstone that teaches respect and gives a good grounding in the associated rules. 

Danni-Elle’s advice to those starting out in the industry would be that while some days it may be hard, stick with it and don’t give up. And if you are with an employer where you are not learning or are being treated poorly, then don’t tolerate it. Danni-Elle’s final piece of advice is that this is a great career with numerous opportunities just around the corner. 

As you can see by the t-shirt she is wearing in the photo and the jacket that David is presenting, Danni-Elle passed her assessments! Congratulations Danni-Elle – we look forward to following your career and we are confident that you will be successful whichever path you decide to take.