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Jessica shows her mettle

A female metal fabrication and welding student is quietly showing her male classmates that woman can be just as competent in traditionally male-dominated trades as men.

A female metal fabrication and welding student is quietly showing her male classmates that woman can be just as competent in traditionally male-dominated trades as men.

Jessica Chironna, 19, is one of just two women in her class at MountĀ Druitt TAFE, but she is happy to be following her dream and studying in a trade that will lead to meaningful employment.

"You'd probably get more money out of the dole but you're not going to go anywhere in life," she said to the Daily Telegraph. "Eventually I want my own workshop, to build things."

Jessica's interest in metalwork started when she was still in high school making jewellery. After three months of applying for apprenticeships she landed a job with IAC Accoustics.

As a WorldSkills Australia finalist, Jessica is certainly proving her mettle in a trade that often has physically demanding working conditions such as heat and confinement. She already has her sights set on representing Australia at the WorldSkills finals.