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New partnership supports women in trades

Second-year TAFE Queensland carpentry student Jade Mellor cannot imagine spending her life sitting behind a desk.

The 30-year-old from the Gold Coast is one of thousands of Queensland women at the forefront of a change rippling through a traditionally male-dominated industry.

“Ever since I was at high school, I’ve had a passion for woodwork and my dream is to one day work in production arts - stage building, set design and construction,” Ms Mellor said

“Sometimes it is intimidating when you don’t see many women on-site, but more and more females are joining the industry and it's exciting to be part of that shift.”

In a progressive move to nurture the increasing number of females joining the construction industry, TAFE Queensland has joined forces with TOP 100 Women in Construction to support and connect women who are building lifelong trade careers across Queensland.

Jade is one of the first TAFE Queensland students to participate in the program and is excited at the opportunity to further develop her personal and professional skills.

“I’m excited to be a part of this new program and I’m looking forward to learning and growing with other tradeswomen who have either walked this path before me or are walking it with me now. I believe the support and connections I will receive over the coming months will help me to become a better tradeswoman, person, and role model for others," Jade said.

“This program is a great opportunity and one which I believe will enable me to follow my dream and build a lifelong career.”

Founder of Top 100 Women, award-winning entrepreneur and owner of Queensland construction company My Bella Casa, Tamika Smith said the partnership will empower more women to take on a trade and provide the necessary training, skills, and support to help them succeed and build lifelong careers.

“Historically women represented around 10 per cent of the traditionally male-dominated building and construction workforce in Queensland, however over recent years the number of women commencing a career in the construction industry has grown significantly and that’s great to see,” Ms Smith said.

“Since 2017, Top 100 Women has supported 13,000 women in construction throughout Queensland, with around 800 women currently accessing ongoing mentoring, training and career advancement opportunities, along with opportunities to form lifelong community connections via a strong network of women in construction - the primary obstacles facing women in the sector today.

“Top 100 Women was established to recognise and highlight women working in the building and construction industry; not only allowing women within the sector to have a voice and a platform to be heard, but most importantly to empower women to pursue their passion and provide a pathway to expand and progress their careers alongside their male counterparts,” she said.

TAFE Queensland is proud to support more women to commence and complete their studies and to build lifelong careers in their chosen industries.