CSU engineering students in good hands at Orange City Council

Orange City Council has welcomed a new cadet engineer to its ranks, with Charles Sturt University (CSU) student Rhys Nicholson joining the team in water and sewer.

Twenty-one-year-old Rhys, from Wagga Wagga, is the fourth CSU engineering student to undertake a cadetship at Council, following in the footsteps of Lucknow’s Mitchell Beasley and Bathurst’s Georgina Wills and Jacob Tuxford.

While the CSU course has only been running since 2016, it has already gained international recognition as an emerging leader in engineering education.

The course is unique in that its students spend just three semesters, or 18 months, learning on-campus followed by four years of full-time paid work placement.

Orange City Council is a foundation industry partner of the course.

ON-THE-JOB TRAINING: New Orange City Council engineering cadet Rhys Nicholson (right) discusses a project with fellow cadet Mitchell Beasley.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said he was thrilled to see the partnership with CSU offering the next generation of young engineers the ability to live and learn in regional NSW.

“It’s great to see these world-class educational opportunities being offered in our region,” Cr Reg Kidd said.

“This program will provide a huge boost to the regional workforce, as well as addressing the skills shortage in rural areas.”

Council’s cadets are placed with mentors in different sections of the Technical Services department each year of their work placement, starting with water and sewer and moving on to roads and transport, design and major projects.

The students do not have to spend their whole work placement with one employer, however water and sewer engineer and Rhys’ mentor Josh Barnes says, so far, they have all chosen to stay on at Council because of the wide range of experience they receive.

“It gives the young engineers a good overview of what engineering encompasses and knowledge of a range of projects,” Josh Barnes said.

Though he has not decided which direction his career will take in future, Rhys says the variety of work is one of the reasons he applied for a cadetship at Orange City Council.

“I’m still in the early stages of my career. With civil engineering, there are lots of different areas of expertise so I’m getting a feel for it,” Rhys Nicholson said.

“I also like the area, Orange is a beautiful city and the council is very supportive.”

If you or someone you know is interested in an engineering career and the opportunity to get paid while studying visit www.csu.edu.au/engineering.

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