TAFE at School student Jarrah Flinders is plunging in, keen to get a head start on her career.

The 16-year-old is mixing her high school studies with TAFE Queensland training in order to keep her goals on track.

“I currently work at a plumbing store and I thought studying through TAFE at School would be a good idea so I can learn even more about the industry,” said Jarrah.

“I’m hoping to get an apprenticeship and when I’m fully qualified, I want to work as a plumber for the army,” she said.

Jarrah, a Dharraba Warra and Yiithu Warra woman, said learning at TAFE Queensland is a lot different to high school.

“The TAFE at School teachers treat you like an adult, you have to take care of yourself and be independent - it’s a good experience,” she continued.

“I really enjoy the practical TAFE at School lessons and I’m looking forward to welding and getting on the tools to get a proper understanding of how they work.”

Qualified plumbers are in high demand with Job Outlook data predicting 29,000 new job openings will become available by 2023.

The same data reveals less than one per cent of the plumbing industry’s national workforce is female.

“We don’t have many tradies in my family, and I am the only girl studying plumbing in my TAFE at School class,” said Jarrah.

“My advice to other girls thinking about plumbing as a career is just give it a go, don’t think it’s just for boys, girls can do whatever boys can do,” she said.

Plumbing teacher Kyle Payne said Jarrah has a promising future.

“Jarrah is doing extremely well with her TAFE at School studies, she’s a quiet achiever and she is top of the class,” Mr Payne said.

“Jarrah also spends her weekends working in a plumbing supplies store, so she is definitely taking advantage of every opportunity to learn more and establish a career in the industry,” he said.

Across North and Far North Queensland, more than 850 Year 11 and 12 students are studying a TAFE at School course in 2019.


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