Charles Darwin University has chosen International Women’s Day to announce the launch of a new Women in Trades mentoring program.
The new program connects young women commencing their apprenticeships with women working in the NT trades sector.
CDU Careers Centre has partnered with the NT chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction to facilitate the new initiative this year and support female apprentices in non-traditional TAFE disciplines such as construction and transport.
CDU employability programs officer Caroline Thompson says the new mentoring program offers an opportunity for female apprentices from various construction and transport disciplines to meet each other and to hear from experienced female tradespeople who have already walked the path of the apprentices.
“For some women, it can feel a little overwhelming to walk into a predominately male classroom and workplace in industries such as construction, transport, electrotechnology and plumbing,” Thompson says.
“The goal of the Women in Trades Mentoring Program is to help female students feel confident to engage with their TAFE studies at CDU and also in their workplaces, knowing that they are supported along their journey towards their chosen trade career.
“Their confidence and commitment to the program will ultimately help to increase gender diversity within the future NT trades sector.”
The mentoring sessions will also assist apprentices to interact and collaborate with their peers, building a network to support them throughout their early careers.
Pro vice-chancellor and chief executive of CDU TAFE Mike Hamilton says CDU’s support of an inclusive training environment and gender equity has provided strong career pathways for women to take on a trade.
“This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the achievements of women who have showed confidence and capability in their trade apprenticeships,” Hamilton says.
“We strive towards gender equity to ensure training at CDU is welcoming of everyone, and that women feel supported in their early careers. Our practical courses have helped them to boost their incomes, gain career opportunities and secure ongoing employment in trades that are in-demand.”