More and more businesses are looking to the ‘other 50%’ of the population to address skills shortages for their industry, particularly in the traditionally male-dominated construction trades. What they are discovering is that women are bringing more to the workplace than just the skills required to undertake the tasks.
Holly, who is considered a mature-aged apprentice undertaking an electrician apprenticeship, was grateful to have been given the opportunity with Tenmen Electrical. She has big plans, stating, “I’ve wanted to do my apprenticeship for about eight years now. It’s hands-on and the guys are excellent teachers. I would love to learn more from Isaac about how to run a business and eventually run my own.”
Isaac, the owner of Tenmen Electrical, a Sunshine Coast based energy installer for airconditioning, electrical and solar panels hired Holly as an apprentice in 2021. Since then, he’s discovered the benefits of hiring a female apprentice, stating, “She’s brought a different dynamic to the team! She’s actually been raising our standards across all of our apprentices. She has different strengths to what some of the boys have, like completely different and in a way that outshines the boys!”
Younger women too are discovering the benefits and excitement of a career in the trades. De’Annah is thinking ahead for her career and undertaking a school-based apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic. A school-based apprenticeship allows high school students (between Years 10 and 12) to start a vocational qualification while gaining valuable work experience. Students usually work one day per week which forms part of their school curriculum, and they are paid as an apprentice for that working day.
De’Annah said of her school-based apprenticeship, “If you like getting your hands dirty, like pulling things apart and being helpful – then go for it!
“Things can be tough at times but if you want to get into it, get into it and it’ll be fun! I’m doing this apprenticeship so I can eventually go to the mines.
“It would be great to see more women in this trade, as a diesel mechanic.”
Both Holly and De’Annah were supported through the BUSY Sisters mentoring program. BUSY Sisters is a no-cost Australian government funded program that provides participants connection to a female mentor, usually with experience in a non-traditional trade, and access to weekly support and a community of like-minded women.
To find out more about BUSY Sisters, visit www.busysisters.com.au
Find out more about BUSY At Work’s support for women entering a non-traditional trade.
Watch Holly and De’Anna’s journey:
Holly is a mature aged female undertaking an electrical apprentice and De’Annah is undertaking a school-based apprenticeship in diesel mechanics.