Search for female tradies

TAFE South Western Sydney Institute is looking to qualify more female tradies.

The institute recently got a $25,000 grant which it will use to help women develop skills and begin work in areas usually with less than 25 per cent female participation — such as plumbing, carpentry, metal engineering and bricklaying.

Amba Groenevel, a stonemasonry graduate from the Miller campus, said it was important to encourage women to work in non-traditional trades.

"I believe there are plenty of women who would genuinely enjoy working with their hands, learning something new and experiencing the satisfaction that comes from working in a trade," she said.

"Gender should never stop someone from learning about something they're interested in."

After working as a dental assistant for five years, Mrs Groenevel said she was desperate for a change and decided to work alongside her father in stonemasonry.

"After only a few weeks I purchased my own work boots and realised I loved working outdoors, in different locations, creating art with stone," she said.

"We both decided it would be a great idea for me to start an apprenticeship."

Working in a traditionally male-dominated area has its challenges but Mrs Groenevel hopes more women will put on work boots and take up a trade.

"Enough people now are open-minded and accepting of women working in a non-traditional trade," she said.

"Being confident as a tradesperson instills confidence in the client, which is the important thing — not whether you're a male or female."

"In any industry there are challenges but getting past those challenges can make the work worth it and give you a very strong sense of accomplishment."

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