Tuesday January 15, 2013
Member for Mulgoa, Tanya Davies MP met with carpentry apprentice Mikayla McClement recently to promote the NSW Government's Women in Trades program.
Mrs Davies said that the NSW Government is committed to increasing the number of women working in male-dominated trades.
"Women currently make up only 13 percent of trade apprentices and trainees in NSW, with most women opting to pursue apprenticeships in areas such as hairdressing and catering."
"Less than two percent of automotive and engineering and construction and electro-technology trade workers in NSW are female." Mrs Davies said.
18 year old Mikayla said she always wanted to be a tradeswomen because she wanted a hands on job and enjoys working outdoors.
"I wanted a job where I could work outside and spend the day just getting stuck into work"
"My dad, who is a plumber always encouraged me to do a trade as he recognised that I really enjoyed that kind of work" Mikayla said.
Mikayla said she never experienced any difficulty being a women in a male dominated industry, though it did take some determination to get her first job.
"I did a few weeks of work experience with a couple of different tradesmen and got casual work whereever I could cleaning up job sites or whatever else was needed. Eventually I got a call and was offered an apprenticeship" Mikayla said.
"I love my job and I would say to any other women considering it - if you really want to do it, you will succeed and enjoy it"
Mikayla has been working for Peter Wright of Wright Carpentry Services since March 2012.
Mr Wright said that he respected Mikayla's work ethic and her eagerness to learn.
"I admired the determination. It can be tough for a young lady in this industry, she had to be better than everyone else to get the same respect" Mr Wright said.
Mr Wright said the best advice he could give to young women thinking about a trade is to "be prepared to work hard and prove yourself. If it's what you really want then chase after it".
The Women in Trades program includes specific partnerships with large employers, such as Ausgrid as well as the Supporting and Linking TradesWomen (SALT) program.
The SALT program is a support network for tradeswomen, apprentices and women considering a career in a trade.