For the first time ever, TAFE NSW Tamworth has welcomed nine women into the Certificate III Landscaping course.
With Labour Market Insights predicting a 14% increase in gardening and landscaping jobs by 2026, now is an opportune time for more women to get their hands dirty and join an industry that is 95% male dominated.
TAFE NSW Horticulture teacher, Sue Wood, said it is rare for the course to attract even one female but with the NSW Government's fee-free initiative and the course now being offered to the wider public (not just apprentices), nine women are undertaking the course this year.
“Fee-free TAFE courses and the flexible learning options offered through TAFE NSW have been a real incentive for female students who are often juggling work, home and children but who are still keen to study,” Ms Wood said.
“I had a great cohort of women enrol in the Certificate III Horticulture course this year and I encouraged them to consider complementing their studies with a Certificate III in Landscaping.
“Although some were hesitant at first, nine of them decided to give it a go and they are now learning how valuable having both skillsets can be and that women are just as capable at landscaping as men.”
Single mother of four, Monique Towler, is one of the women studying both Horticulture and Landscaping while juggling family commitments.
“I live two-hours away, so having a course that is so flexible has been really important and makes completing my studies a lot easier,” Ms Towler said.
“It’s great to be able to come to TAFE and be surrounded by like-minded women from all walks of life, we’re all very supportive of one another and we all have different strengths and skillsets which makes us work well as a group.
"Landscaping is a male-dominated industry but we’re finding out that when you have the right safety knowledge and practices in place, we’re all very capable of doing the manual labour, we don’t need to stand back and wait for someone we can get in and get it down ourselves which is really empowering.
“I’d love to get into landscape design for pre-schools and childcare centers, having small children myself I know how important it is for kids to be spending time in gardens and nature and I’d love to make that possible for all children.”
Media contact: Katie Hitchcock, Communications Specialist, MediaRelease@tafensw.edu.au, 02 7920 5000.