Matilda Baard has chosen a fitting career
Twenty-two-year-old Matilda Baard is showing how women can follow in their dad’s footsteps, even when their dad is a fitter and machinist.
The Appin local is a second year apprentice at TAFE NSW Campbelltown, studying the Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade and will not stop there; she has dreams of returning to TAFE NSW once she completes her apprenticeship to become a qualified boilermaker.
“After I completed high school, I took a break, did some travel and then I started applying for jobs and I got my apprenticeship with Laser Bond,” said Ms Baard.
“Growing up I learnt a lot about mechanical engineering and boiler making from my dad, so it seemed like a natural fit.”
Despite being a female in a male-dominated trade, Ms Baard is showing that it does not matter; her attitude is that if you love it then go for it.
“My classmates are awesome; I enjoy teaching them things that I’ve learnt in the workplace or from my dad. When I first started my apprenticeship, I was second guessing myself, but now I’ve got the confidence, I definitely don’t regret the decision.
“I like that my teachers push me as much as they can to be better and do better as they know I have the ability. I’m acing my practical work getting 100 out of 100 so I’m really happy.”
Ms Baard spends her days working on manual machines, a manual mill and a manual borer. She also works to fix mining equipment and does welding.
“I completed my welding ticket at TAFE NSW Campbelltown. My dream is to become a boilermaker and start my own fabrication shop so I would like to return to study in the evenings.
“If you’re a woman and you’re thinking about a career in a trade then I say just do it while you can; if you’ve got the confidence and courage then just go for it.”
Women currently make up only 13 per cent of trade apprentices and trainees in NSW, with most women opting to pursue apprenticeships in female-dominate trades such as hairdressing and beauty therapy.
To find out more about studying engineering at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601
Media contact: Emma Cawley, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, Mobile 0412 478 415
 NCVER VOCSTATS, 2011 database