Young sparkie’s win is no tall tale
If there’s one thing Joshua Gray, pictured, gets asked a lot, it’s whether he plays basketball.
Standing at 2m tall, (about 6”5) and nicknamed “Stretch,” the 21-year-old apprentice electrician sticks to water polo and footy.
And in his professional life, he sticks to impressing a judging panel with his efforts in the trade.
“I don’t know why they picked me over other candidates,” Mr Gray chuckled.
“I guess I must have said something they liked.”
Mr Gray was recently named Master Electricians WA’s Apprentice of the Year, acknowledging four years of work at S&K Electrical.
Torn between wanting to be “a sparkie or a chippie” when he left school, the athlete quickly dropped carpentry aspirations when he started work experience at the Wonthella-based electrical service and absolutely loved it.
It was no surprise to boss Steve Villier that his apprentice was recently judged best in the State.
“It was very well deserved,” Mr Villier said.
“Everyone wants to work with him, and if you’d met his old man, you’d know why.
“He’s got a father that makes sure he doesn’t stray too left or too right in life.”
He was celebrated alongside Mr Villier, who received the Industrial Project of the Year Award on behalf of the team at S&K for their two-years work on the Cataby Mineral Sands Project.
Their $12.5 million contract featured electrical installations across a number of buildings, as well as overhead and underground power.
It was completed in mid-April.
The job, part of an Iluka Resources project worth almost $250 million, was judged tthe best work produced by any team of electricians working on a recent industrial project.
The company’s quickly filling trophy case also features other awards in the industrial, commercial and residential categories spanning the past five years.
Mr Villier, who has been in the trade since 1978, has a team of about 50 apprentices.
For the 58-year-old, the best thing about the job is the chitchat with contractors.
And the worst thing? People who don’t pay.
“Had to take a few people to the courts over it,” Mr Villier said.
Mr Villier and Mr Gray now qualify for the national awards in November.
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