Applications are now open for the State Government’s Women in Non-Traditional Trades Scholarship (WiNTT) program to support more women to train in male-dominated industries such as building and construction, automotive and electrical, and engineering and mining.
The $5,000 scholarships are available for women undertaking eligible vocational education and training qualifications at WA TAFE colleges in 2024.
Scholarship funding can be used to support the cost of training and upskilling for expenses such as student fees, learning resources, tools, work clothes and personal protective equipment, work tickets and licences, transport, accommodation and childcare. Scholarship recipients will also benefit from tailored mentoring and support services to help them to complete their qualification and successfully transition into employment in their chosen industry.
Twenty scholarships will be available through each WA TAFE college for women starting campus-based training (either part time or full time) or an apprenticeship or traineeship, in an eligible qualification.
Daisy Hillam is in her second year of a trade qualification, completing a carpentry apprenticeship in the male-dominated building and construction industry.
"I knew I liked a bit of DIY and I thought maybe carpentry could be for me. I was nervous to start and join a very male-dominated industry, but it’s been more fulfilling and exciting than I could have imagined. I’ve had so much support from everyone around me.
"In just two years of my apprenticeship, I have competed in the World Skills regional competition for Carpentry, been flown to Brisbane for the World Skills Excellence Forum, been a finalist in the Master Builders Apprentice of the Year Awards, met the Premier, and had many opportunities to help represent and promote women in construction."
Since breaking into her dream career, Daisy has seen major shifts in the industry with more women keen to break stereotypes and pursue their passion in traditionally male-dominated roles.
"I was the first female apprentice my company hired, now we have six other women working on our team and almost outnumber the men. I have also seen more women undertake their studies at TAFE within construction trades."
Daisy has one simple piece of advice for women considering taking up a trade and becoming part of a more gender-diverse workforce: go for it!
With many eligible scholarship qualifications either fee-free or low-cost in 2024, there’s never been a better time to break into your dream career through TAFE.
To learn more, visit tafe.wa.edu.au.