Thanks to the impacts of Covid-19 this year, more females are stepping out of industries such as hospitality and tourism and entering previously male-dominated trades like engineering and automotive careers.
According to data from the Department of Small Business, Employment and Training, they have seen a 32% increase in females entering engineering career pathways and a 19% increase of women pursuing careers in the automotive industry. Shannon Fentimen, Training and Skills Development Minister, was visiting the region last week and stated six women were undertaking an engineering course in Far North Queensland this year.
In her second year of a Certificate III in Engineering, working as a Fitter and Turner for her father’s business, Sonia Fleicshfreesser moved home to Cairns after spending five years in WA studying vet nursing, which she decided wasn’t for her.
“I knew I wanted to be more hands-on with what I did. Most places are pretty accommodating to women – some people seem surprised when they see what I do but they don’t treat me differently”.
Her father, Brad Fleicshfreesser, who owns Cairns Springworks and Engineering, says he does not treat his daughter with kid gloves and makes sure she knows her way around every job and machine in the workshop. “I think a lot of tradies are keen to get women on board – they are more precise and they work hard”, he said.
Paul Daly, CEO for Skill360 said trades had not been as badly affected during Covid, making them a safer career choice for young job seekers.
“A lot of effort has gone into providing information and exposure to the trades, and not just to boys. During the pandemic many people have had the opportunity or need to rethink their career, and in the main trades have not been as badly affected”.
“This, coupled with the ongoing need for tradespeople in the future, will continue to make undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship a viable and rewarding career path for young people”.
Skill360 can support young people into career pathways through training, employment and apprenticeship and traineeship pathways support.
For more information visit www.skill360.com.au or call 1300 933 358