Inspired by her uncle to take up a trade as a boilermaker, Caitlyn was given the opportunity at the beginning of 2020 when CBGU Joint Venture were appointed the principal design and construction contractor for the Tunnel and Stations package of the Cross River Rail project. Cross River Rail is a Queensland Government initiative to alleviate transport bottlenecks in the Brisbane region and is one of Queensland’s most important local job generating projects, supporting economic growth and employment opportunities. During its construction the project will provide an average of 1,500 jobs per year and create an equivalent of 450 apprenticeships and traineeships.
The project allowed Inglewood business BLASK Engineering, one of the subcontractors on the project, to increase their work force by 20 per cent. This gave Caitlyn the opportunity to start an apprenticeship with BLASK, undertaking studies towards a Certificate III in Boilermaking. Caitlyn took just three years and two months to finish her qualification, which included training for white card, safe work at heights, working in confined spaces, forklift, dogging, and elevated work platform tickets.
Caitlyn said of her apprenticeship opportunity, “What initially inspired me to take up a trade as a boilermaker was my uncle and being given the opportunity when I didn’t know what or where I wanted to go in life. In a small town, there isn’t very much here, so when the opportunity arose, I grabbed it.
“The best thing about my job is seeing jobs come together and being a part of that building and fabrication process. From seeing the drawings, to cutting steel, the fabrication and welding of it then the assembly. It amazes me some of the things we can create and how we go about doing that!”
With more women entering non-traditional, male-dominated trades, Caitlyn is an encouraging example for other women considering their career options.
“My supervisors at BLASK have already spoken with me about ongoing training, such as my Certificate IV to excel my skills and continue to progress my career.
“If other women were considering taking up a usually male-dominated trade, I say go for it! Yes, it is a bit nerve racking, but never be afraid to ask for help from anyone around you. Everyone’s learning and experience can and will help you determine your preference on how you do things. If men can do it, so can we!”
Lynda Johnson, Administration Manager at BLASK, said of Caitlyn’s progress, “Caitlyn has worked very hard to prove herself to be a valuable asset to BLASK and the team as a whole. All credit goes to Caitlyn for the effort she has put into her studies!”
Find out more about BUSY At Work’s support for women entering a non-traditional trade.
Caitlyn on her very first job at the Boggo Road hold down bolts, when she first commenced her Boilermaking apprenticeship.