Krystal clear about her goals
As a fourth year apprentice in boiler making, Krystal is an inspiration to young girls and women, especially those who aspire to study engineering or take up a trade in this field.
A broken gate hinge probably wouldn’t hold the attention of most teens but Krystal Davies was not your typical teen and she’s certainly not your average 21 year old young woman now.
As a fourth year apprentice who is currently studying a Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication (Boilermaking/Welding) MEM30319 at TAFE Queensland’s Bundaberg campus, Krystal is an inspiration to young girls and women, especially those who aspire to study engineering or take up a trade in this field.
“I love what I do so it’s not hard at all to promote what I love doing and encourage other young women to pick up the tools too,” Krystal said.
Krystal's interest in boiler making all began when she was 14 while one day watching her father and grandfather fix a gate hinge. So inspired was Krystal by this experience, particularly as someone who loves working with her hands and solving problems, it triggered a realisation that she, too, could ‘give this thing a go’.
“Watching Dad and Grandpa trying to fix the gate made me quite curious about how you can find a solution around something like that and also about the possibilities of working with metal and making art out of it,” Krystal said.
“From there, my curiosity grew and to the point where I decided I could actually make a go of it as a career.”
Not surprisingly, this led Krystal to explore the idea of studying engineering, a field in which she not only excelled – taking out the top award in high school for two consecutive years in advanced welding – but also motivated her to pursue a career in boiler making.
“I realised that not only was I good at welding, I also really enjoyed doing it and could possibly make a career of it,” Krystal said.
Along with the technical challenges of this trade, Krystal finds variety is another element that’s particularly appealing about boiler making.
“There’s so much more to fabricating or welding a piece of metal than you realise – I love that you can roll, bend and shape metal into just about anything,” Krystal said.
“One of the projects that I’m currently working on is building a macadamia harvester for a local agricultural company in Bundaberg – it’s exciting stuff and I’m learning lots!”
Krystal is currently the only girl in her boiler making class, but she doesn't see any gender barriers in achieving her goals.
With only four months left to go in her apprenticeship – “I’m on the countdown!” – Krystal believes that anyone who is passionate about boiler making and welding and is willing to put in the effort can succeed in this trade, regardless of their gender.
As an excellent role model for young girls and women, Krystal would like to see more females take up boiler making or study engineering.
“I think it’s a trade that women and girls would really enjoy and have fun with if they gave it a go,” Krystal said.
“Don’t let the fact that it’s a largely male dominated industry deter you from considering it as a potential career and doing something enjoyable and worthwhile.”
TAFE Queensland engineering teacher, Craig Morris, could not be more proud of all that Krystal has achieved to date.
“I’ve had a front row seat to Krystal’s growth in her apprenticeship and she is proof that with hard work, dedication, and a passion for the subject, anyone can succeed in the field of engineering,” Craig said.
“She’s a remarkable young woman who’s showing a great deal of potential in her chosen field and it’s fantastic to see that she’s able to apply the hands-on, practical learning in the classroom to her job outside.”
“The quality of talent in our female apprentices is really encouraging to see and I’m really proud of the fact that TAFE Queensland does a great job at producing job-ready and well-equipped students by the time they’re ready to graduate.”
According to the latest NCVER data from the September 2022 quarter, 33 per cent of female apprentices in training for the Certificate III in Fabrication (Boiler making/welding) are Queenslanders.
Nationally, there has been a 79 per cent increase in female apprentices in training for the Certificate III in Fabrication (Boiler making/welding) from the September 2021 quarter to the September 2022 quarter.
With a 122 per cent increase, Queensland has more than doubled the number of female apprentices in training for the Certificate III in Fabrication (Boiler making/welding) from the September 2021 quarter to the September 2022 quarter.
Of these apprentices in training in the September quarter, 45 per cent were training with TAFE Institutes.
Krystal's ultimate goal is to become a teacher in engineering as she believes that having more female teachers in this field could inspire more girls to study engineering.
We can’t wait to see what else lies ahead in Krystal’s very bright future. One thing’s for sure – whatever she gets up to, Krystal is already doing a sterling job breaking stereotypes and gender barriers while inspiring more girls and women in her field.
Visit tafeqld.edu.au to find out more about the Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication Trade (MEM30319) course or call 1300 308 233 for more information about the courses available and let TAFE Queensland help you define your greatness.