A new State Government scheme to get women into trades is a step in the right direction, according to Industry Training and Workplace Services managing director Toni Hoyle.

The industry veteran understands the benefits of women entering into trades, having started as a mechanical fitter under a NSW Government grant almost 30 years ago.

Reflecting on her time with immense pride, she said the opportunity gave her a well-paid job, confidence, travel opportunities and the strength to start her own business.

Although being a male-dominated industry was challenging, she said it was more accepted now than ever before.

“At ITWS, we fully support the scholarships to encourage women into non-traditional trades, ” she told the Kalgoorlie Miner.

“It is not going to open the floodgates to get women into trades. But one of the big things with these scholarships is that it may help people to get into an area they never considered before.”

Ms Hoyle said ITWS had a few women going through their courses every now and again, but it was also the employers that needed to be supported in employing women.

The State Government last week announced it would commit $1.2 million over the next four years to encourage female participation in certain trades.

Up to 400 scholarships to the value of $3000 each will be available to women over the age of 18 who have left school and who undertake training at Certificate III level or above in specified qualifications.

Eligible women undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship will receive $1000, with $2000 provided as an incentive for employers and to assist with training costs.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said the scholarships would help promote and enhance the economic independence and leadership of women.

“These scholarships will provide new opportunities for women to carry out training in a range of trade and industry areas including agriculture, automotive, aviation, construction, food, electrical, engineering, and maritime and telecommunications, ” she said.

“These are highly sought-after skills which can lead to a diverse … and rewarding career.”

Ms Harvey said the Government would target the occupations in which women made up fewer than 25 per cent of the total work force.


© The West Australian

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