The growth of construction in Western Sydney is seeing an increase in demand for skilled tradespeople, providing more opportunities for more females to enter a traditionally male dominated industry.
Already a key employer in Western Sydney, Infrastructure, Energy and Construction jobs are forecast to grow by almost 14,600 new jobs between 2017 and 2020. While men still dominate traditional trades, females are choosing to enter the industry and when they do, they are proving to be very successful.
Four female apprentices studying a Certificate III in Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration at TAFE NSW Granville, Amber Perrott-Jones, Eliza Pereira, Zoe Anderiesen and Melanie Nordsvan are all extremely passionate about their industry.
Third year apprentice, Amber Perrott-Jones explains, “I always knew I wanted to learn a trade, and when I discovered air-conditioning and refrigeration I knew it was the perfect career for me. The course incorporates a variety of equipment and has both a plumbing and electrical aspects which definitely keeps me engaged and busy.”
17 year-old Eliza Pereira was in a similar position. “My brother works in the industry and we used to joke around about me becoming his apprentice. When I was in year 10, I decided to do work experience in the industry and absolutely loved it. I enjoy the hands on experience that I receive at TAFE NSW and how everything I learn from my teachers, links directly to what I’m doing at work and prepares me for tasks before I come across them.”
Starting her apprenticeship two weeks after completing year 12, Melanie Nordsvon, hasn’t looked back.
“I work in truck refrigeration which is quite a niche area in the industry. I really enjoy my job and the complexity of it. As part of my course at TAFE NSW I’ve learnt extra skills that have expanded my skillset."
On track to complete her course in 2020, Zoe Anderiesen said, “While working in a male dominated industry can be tough, I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by a great group of guys who treat me really well. My teachers and classmates at TAFE NSW have been wonderful and the stuff I have been learning really helps me to properly understand what I’m doing in the field, giving me more confidence.”
Eliza agrees, “I’ve had a few strange looks here and there, but I forget about them as I constantly have people telling me how proud they are of me for following what I love and pursuing a trade.”
To find out more about studying Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.
Media contact: Emma Cawley, TAFE NSW Media Officer, mobile 0412 478 415, firstname.lastname@example.org
 Deloitte Access Economics, February 2017