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30 April, 2021
Eighteen women are proving age is no barrier to earning a formally recognised skill, thanks to a partnership between TAFE NSW and the Orange Women’s Shed.
The women - most aged 60-80 - are getting handy with tools, undertaking a formal Statement of Attainment in Work Health and Safety, Carpentry Tools and Equipment and Handle Construction Materials.
TAFE NSW Teacher Construction Trades Sue Priest said the eight-week course would empower the women to look after minor home repairs without needing to ask others for help.
“Most of the women are older and many have been widowed, their husbands are in care, or for some other reason they are the only adult in their homes,” Ms Priest said. “The local TAFE NSW services coordinator and the Women’s Shed identified a need for women to learn how to safely use tools around the home and TAFE NSW developed the training.”
“The ability to make simple home repairs makes a practical difference in the women’s circumstances.”
Orange Women’s Shed president Michelle Einsaar said when the course was advertised, it attracted strong interest from both Shed members and the wider community.
“We easily filled this course, and already have a list of women who want to enrol if we run another one,” Ms Einsaar said.
“Not only do these skills enable women to make small repairs around their homes, it gives them confidence when dealing with tradesmen. They understand the scope of work proposed and can be more confident they are getting a job done at a reasonable price.”
Student Bronwyn Fox, 59, said she was enjoying learning how to use tools safely and learning skills such as building a step stool and toolbox and being able to fix cupboard doors.
“My husband was a tradesman, but is now ill and in care,” Mrs Fox said. “So I need to look after the maintenance at home.”
“It is also inspiring having a female construction teacher leading the course. It is really refreshing to see a woman teaching in what was traditionally a man’s world.”
For more information about construction courses, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
Media contact: Jenny Tinworth, Communications Specialist, phone 0411 443 555.