Mechanical apprentice Anika Fritze-Shanks (affectionately known as “Bluey” to her workmates) always had a pretty good idea of what career path she wanted to follow once she left high school.
After working in landscaping for six months Anika decided to go to an information session with the City of Gold Coast to learn more about the mechanical trades.
“After the session I was given a one week work experience trial in fitting and turning and fell in love with the idea of designing and fabricating something from scratch,” Anika said.
Now having just completed 12 months of her Certificate III in Mechanical Engineering – Fitting and Machining and recently signed up as an ambassador for BUSY At Work’s GC101 campaign, Anika is excited about learning new skills in the trade and what lies ahead in the future.
“My trade is challenging, thrilling and satisfying and I love that I am able to manipulate ordinary pieces of material into something useful and sometimes complicated.”
“Even with simple jobs there are so many steps involved that sometimes need me to construct and build jigs, fixtures and tools to be able to complete the job.”
“I am fortunate that I have had a very supportive family and the staff from BUSY At Work, and the City of Gold Coast have always been there if I needed any assistance,” Anika said.
The City is committed to increasing the number of employees who identify with diversity groups. With three women now working in the trades at the City depots, Anika said she was keen to see more women taking up apprenticeships with the City. Anika also identifies as an Indigenous Australian and is a great ambassador for diversity in the City’s workforce.
Since starting her apprenticeship in December last year, Anika has been kept busy carrying out repair work on community playground equipment as well as learning how to change bushes and bearings and develop her hand skills in MIG and TIG welding.
“Right from day one I’ve had a lot of support from the supervisors and the fabrication group. As an apprentice its always pleasing that you are given the time to learn and develop your skills.”
“If you have a supportive work environment and are passionate about learning new skills then I would definitely recommend a career in the mechanical trades,” Anika said.
City of Gold Coast Maintenance Supervisor, Andy Davenport said Anika was an asset to the maintenance team.
“Anika is the first female apprentice we have had in the fabrication team and with her easy going personality has fitted in well in our team.”
“She has worked very hard and is always keen to learn and ask questions,” Mr Davenport said.
Andy said it was pleasing to see new apprentices entering the trade.
“The mechanical trades have changed a lot over the years so it’s important we continue to invest in the next generation of tradespeople to ensure we have a strong Australian economy,” Mr Davenport added.
BUSY At Work Managing Director, Paul Miles said the GC101 Apprenticeship campaign was about finding jobs for Gold Coast youth.
“Our inaugural campaign last year was an outstanding success and we are once again committed to getting 101 school leavers and young people who have recently left school into apprenticeships and traineeships before the end of the year.”
“We are urging local businesses to get behind the campaign and continue to invest in apprenticeships as full time careers.”
“As an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Provider and specialists in apprenticeship support services, BUSY At Work can provide employers and the apprentices with all the relevant information to assist them throughout the life of the apprenticeship,” Mr Miles said.
Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator
0438 173 960 | firstname.lastname@example.org