Altona Meadows apprentice Charlie Moon is one of just 10 apprentice plumbers from around the country to receive a $3000 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant for 2019, with 17-year-old ‘so stoked’ to be cashed up to increase his tool kit.
The local lad is only one year into his apprenticeship and he can’t get enough of learning his new trade, but that was not always the case. Despite doing well in his last few years of high school, Charlie was put down by teachers, and he felt that school just wasn’t for him.
“Mum encouraged me to give plumbing a go and she said I just took to it like duck to water. I was hired due to my tenacity and passion for commencing my apprenticeship, and willingness to commit to getting my way to and from job sites,” he said.
“I won’t get my driving license for another year due to my age and my employers could have chosen an apprentice with their license, however I have consistently proved my dedication to the role and have ensured it has and never will be an issue for them.”
Charlie was offered his apprenticeship after beating 98 other applicants for the role. Though he was somewhat surprised about discovering talent for his trade, because Charlie is one of 30 grandchildren and the only one in his family who has taken up a trade.
“The others mostly have gone onto uni to study law or engineering. My dad is a bus driver and my mum is an office manager. I chose plumbing because I love problem solving and I really enjoy the variety of jobs I get to do,” he said.
“I was so stoked to receive this grant. I was recovering from nose surgery for my adenoids when I got the call from Rheem. I wasn’t feeling well so it was great to get this news. My family were rapped for me.”
Charlie’s boss of one year, David McCarthy of local business David McCarthy Plumbing, was also thrilled for him, describing Charlie as ‘a motivated and hard-working young man’ with ‘old fashioned manners’ which make him ‘an asset onsite’.
“We are very proud of Charlie, one of only two Victorians to win a grant out of 120 other young plumber’s nationally! We value apprentices and lifelong learning highly, and ‘pursue learning and growth’ is one of our core values,” Mr McCarthy said.
“In 2017 our apprentice Corey won an RMIT Beazley Scholarship, and in 2018 our apprentice Tommy took home the Frank Maskell General Plumbing and Andrew Letton Gold Medal Awards at the Plumbing and Fire Industry Awards.”
When Charlie completes his apprenticeship, he plans to gain experience in Melbourne, interstate and overseas. He is set on achieving his dream of hiking in Nepal and visiting base camp of Mt Everest before setting up his own plumbing business close to home.
Charlie receives a $3,000 Grant from Rheem and plans to increase his tool kit which is vital for his job. Rheem Australia has been running the Rheem Apprentice Plumber grants program since 2012 with the aim to help foster the future generation of plumbers.