Gold Coast Business Develops Bright New Sparks


Dan the Sparky Man is one of the most successful and trusted electrical businesses on the Gold Coast, providing electrical services to builders, small-scale developers and homeowners. The company had its roots in Adelaide before Dan carpenter and his wife Kelly relocated to the Gold Coast in 2006. Since then the business has grown substantially, currently employing fourteen people, including four apprentices.

Dan and Kelly are always looking for ways to improve the business through training, upskilling and developing the team. All employees go through a comprehensive induction program. The business provides apprentices and less experienced employees with lots of on-the-job training. New employees are sent out on jobs under full supervision, with the time spent on training dependent on the new employee’s experience. Dan is a big believer in training employees early to avoid problems later, as he explains:

 “We give our apprentices an opportunity to learn very quickly early on. When I started out I worked for guys that just wanted me to sweep or clean up the van, whereas our approach is to expose our apprentices to a broad scope of areas and teach them up front. We might be working on a new home and they’ll be pre wiring switchboards within their first few weeks on the job. We give them leeway to learn quicker and that benefits us as well. We often find our apprentices’ knowledge and skills are far advanced when compared to apprentices from other employers.”

Mature aged apprentices

Since inception Dan the Sparky Man has employed over eighty apprentices, many of them mature aged. Jeremy Dosser began his electrical apprenticeship at 30 and is now the company’s Head of Operations.

“I was in hospitality but I got tired of working nights and weekends. I never had a Christmas or a New Years’ Eve away from work. It was interesting starting a new career at 30. You get treated like an apprentice again, which is a good thing. It makes a big difference when you find an employer where people appreciate what you do. A lot of guys have started and finished their apprenticeships here, which is rare in this industry.”

Former apprentice Jeremy Dosser now leads the company's operations

Just the ticket

Regardless of your age Jeremy says TAFE’s pre apprenticeship course (Cert II in Electro Technology) is the ideal way for apprentices to start their career:

“I found with that course they throw a lot of maths and the technical side at you early on just to sort out who can do it and who can’t, so if we take somebody on it’s much more beneficial for both parties if they’ve done that course because we know they’ve got the ability to do the work.”

Dan Carpenter agrees. “The Cert II ticket is great because it gets a large portion of your first year of schooling done and that you’re committed to working in the industry. I’d also suggest doing work experience for a week or two as well. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door, there’s no obligation involved and it shows us what you’re capable of doing”, he says.

With the company supplying a wide range of services, Dan says their apprentices are exposed to many facets of the industry. “We cover so many areas of electrical work from new homes, service work, air conditioning and solar. It’s a broad field and they’re not just stuck on the one thing.”

“That’s the thing about working here”, says Jeremy. “There’s room to move with lots of different aspects of the business you can get involved in. If you’ve got particular skills and you like working in that area Dan has always given people the opportunity to do what they’re good at.”