It was a case of double trouble for Hastings Deering trainers when Rockhampton twins Eddie and Jack Hemings reported for apprenticeship induction this week.
The 18-year-old diesel fitter apprentices joined 38 others from across Queensland and the Northern Territory for their first week of work at the machinery giant’s Brisbane headquarters.
They will complete two weeks of induction training before returning to their hometown workshop.
Hastings Deering was swamped with 2695 applications for 2021 apprenticeships, with only 40 chosen, so competition was strong.
Not only was this a record application intake year, but the Hemings are the first twins in the company’s 74-year history as a Cat dealer to be inducted in the same apprenticeship at the same time.
The duo, who often speak together and finish each other’s sentences, were thrilled Hastings Deering offered them both a place.
They said they shared a love for diesel engines and machinery in general, and believed the path of apprenticeships and a trade seemed to be the right way to ensure employment, even in the most difficult of times.
Hastings Deering chief operating officer Mark Scott said the group’s apprenticeships continued to be highly sought after, with applications up 30 per cent on 2020, which was also a record year.
Mr Scott said the majority of applications were for diesel fitter and auto electrician apprenticeships.
“Mackay and Rockhampton apprentices again dominated the cohort. This is driven both by the calibre of the applicants as well as our pipeline of work in the regions, linked to the resources’ sector as well as supporting the construction industry,” he said.
Hastings Deering is training more than 200 apprentices across its operations in Queensland and the Northern Territory.