The Skill Engineer introduced the ‘Girls of Steel’ program to women in Wangaratta in 2021, aimed at giving females the opportunity to gain a Certificate II in Engineering Pathways.
The program combines training and employability skills, to further foster gender diversity in the workplace, and reduce barriers to female participation in male dominated trades.
In Australia, the underrepresentation of women in industries considered to be ‘male-dominated’, continues to affect gender equality, industry performance and our nation’s economy.
Occupations in national shortage, with strong future demand include engineering, welding and metal fabrication.
The Girls of Steel program aims to address these gaps from every aspect; developing female’s skills, encouraging change in culture and attitudes toward women in trades, and supporting women to transition into a career or apprenticeship.
TSE Managing Director Brendan Ritchens says the program aims to expose women to engineering and manufacturing.
“We’re preparing women for roles in areas like design, biomedical, aerospace, defence and marine, which will be populated, more than likely, by more women in the future,” he said.
“The Girls of Steel program aims to show there are options into trade pathways, traditionally followed by men, and will be full-time employment opportunities for them in trade and technical roles,” said Brendan.
The program also supports potential host employers to engage with a number of female participants through the program to find the best possible fit for their business when looking to recruit an apprentice.
“Participants are given the opportunity to experience paid employment on job sites, which reinforces the whole concept of what we’re able to offer once the course finishes,” said Brendan.
“We’ve already transitioned three young women into trades and are extremely proud of them. It’s a great outcome for these women.”
The course is currently available to women aged 17 and over, and will operate during school hours, within school terms, over 12 months.
Central Coast women will also be encouraged to kickstart a career in non-traditional trades, with the opening of the region’s Girls of Steel program, which will be located at Kariong on the Central Coast in 2022.
Registrations are open for both our Wangaratta and Kariong campus. Those who are interested should register their interest at www.bit.ly/girlsofsteel.