Inspired by her father to ask businesses near where he works for work experience so she could get a ‘foot in the door’, Shelby was soon offered a week’s work experience with F & P Interiors, directly across the road from her dad’s business. After only two days of the work experience, Richard, the owner of the company, was so impressed with her work ethic he offered her an apprenticeship in cabinet-making.
Richard hasn’t regretted his decision, stating, “At first, I didn’t think about hiring a female apprentice but Shelby’s shown me, it’s a good way to go! In our game we feel you don’t have to know everything, as long as you have the right attitude and we can mould you to what we need, then that’s the sort of person we want – and Shelby’s that person.”
Shelby is really thriving in the role, fitting in with the rest of the team and enjoying the work. She also has big plans for her future, stating, “Working here has given me so much more confidence! My hopes for the future are to have my own business and to travel the world.
“My sign-up experience with BUSY At Work was easy. It was really stress free and made me feel more secure to know that someone’s going to be there to help you and you’re not just by yourself.”
When asked if she would encourage other women who are considering a non-traditional trade career, Shelby said, “I would tell other women to just go for it and don’t let anyone tell you can’t do it because you definitely can.”
Cassandra Horan, General Manager at BUSY At Work’s Australian Apprenticeship Support Network program, said “There’s a real skills shortage in the construction industry, and it’s important for employers to fill these gaps. By giving female apprentices an opportunity, businesses can fill these shortages.
“In our experience, employers, just like F & P Interiors, are discovering that women bring a lot of benefits to their business including new ideas and different perspectives. A more diverse workplace is proven to generate better performance.”