Sparks fly for dream job
Brittney Bellingham spent her childhood hobby welding and now has a successful boilermaking career.
Brittney began her Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade (MEM30319) training straight after completing high school.
"My TAFE Queensland training helped me because when I first started, I had no experience, all I did was welding. At TAFE, they showed me how to cut everything, mark it all out and then how to weld properly," Brittney said.
To complete her apprenticeship, Brittney attended block training at the TAFE Queensland Cairns campus.
"TAFE Queensland helped me develop my skills. I would describe my TAFE Queensland teachers as being really friendly, they taught me a lot."
"Being an apprentice was good for me. I had no experience coming in, which was scary, but my employer was really encouraging. He helped me out a lot and I got paid to learn what I love doing."
Brittney, 22, works at Norweld which has been producing ute trays and canopies for 50 years. Brittney works a four-day workweek and said it offered her a great work-life balance.
"The thing I enjoy the most about being a boilermaker is seeing the finished product. The project starts as sheet metal, then we cut it and weld it into a tray or canopy or toolbox, and we get great feedback from the customers which is awesome to hear."
"My skill set isn't just for work, I can also use it at home. Like if I get a crack on a trailer or something, I can cut that little piece out, roll it back up and it's good as new."
According to JobOutlook, women make up just one per cent of Australia's structural steel and welding workforce.
Brittney said she doesn't regret turning her love for welding into a career and she hopes more women join the profession.
"If you're thinking about pursuing a trade career, just go for it. It doesn't matter what anyone says to you, just do it. If you are really keen, people will take you on and help you out a lot."
Watch Brittney's story