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Image: Teacher Scott Mitchell and graduates of the pre-employment program for women in civil construction held at TAFE NSW Orange.
TAFE NSW is helping women find work while addressing a critical skills shortage in the local construction sector through an innovative pre-employment program.
Eight women graduated last week with a Statement of Attainment in Civil Construction from TAFE NSW Orange, delivered in partnership with Orange construction company AWCON. The course teaches women essential skills for a job in the industry including WHS fundamentals and practical skills training in operating excavators, rollers, and front-end loaders.
Graduate Annalise Frost, an 18-year-old from Orange, has secured employment with PYBAR Mining Services and will be based at Cadia Valley Operations, where she will drive large haulage trucks on the mining site.
“I’m very excited – I’m not interested in sitting in an office and mining seemed like a good opportunity. There’s lots of work and you can operate different machinery and travel around, so that really attracted me to the job,” Annalise said.
“I was apprehensive to join the mining industry because I didn’t know if I would like it. But being able to go to TAFE NSW for a taster course, and try different machinery and learn practical tasks, made me realise how enjoyable it could be as a career. Having that TAFE NSW experience definitely helped me secure the position.”
Infrastructure Australia predicts a shortage of around 28,000 workers in the construction industry between now and 2025 and TAFE NSW continues to partner with industry across western NSW to fill the growing skills gap.
TAFE Services Coordinator Karen Pratt said TAFE NSW is planning to host similar taster courses at TAFE NSW Orange in 2022 after identifying a gap in career entry pathways for women in the construction industry.
“Regional Australia is experiencing a skills shortage in construction and mining, and we know there are women who want to get into the industry but don’t know where to start. When we advertised this course, the interest was huge,” Ms Pratt said.
“This course provides basic skills and an initial pathway into work or further study, which helps create a pipeline of workers for our regional industries. We know many of these women will gain employment with local construction and mining firms while others are keen to continue study and specialise. Some are going on to study traffic control and welding while others want to undertake further qualifications in civil construction.”
Explore hundreds of courses in construction and infrastructure at TAFE NSW. For more information visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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