It’s been a roundabout journey to becoming an electrical apprentice for Rachel, 28, who has lived in Western Australia for six years.
Along the way, Rachel, who says she always wanted to be an electrician, has been a personal trainer, worked for a port authority and also in warehousing.
Originally from Gladstone, Queensland, Rachel did a Certificate III in fitness in Year 12 and worked as a personal trainer for three years. She got a traineeship with the Gladstone Ports Corporation and then worked in warehousing, where she says the money was good but she was extremely bored.
“I really wanted to be an electrician,” Rachel says. “I have always wanted a trade. I didn’t know how to get an apprenticeship and I thought I would have to do a pre-apprenticeship, which I knew was going to be hard, because that’s six months off work and I wasn’t sure I could afford it.”
In the second week of her pre-apprenticeship in February 2020, she was organising work experience when she was offered an apprenticeship instead. She was over the moon.
“I’m quite practical,” she says. “I love the problem solving, using my brain. You are going all the time and it makes the day go quicker. There are more and more girls doing it. Sometimes having smaller hands helps. And once you have finished your apprenticeship and worked, you can be an electrical supervisor or an engineer if you are happy to work hard. The pathway is there if you want to work for it.”
Rachel says she also thought about carpentry but decided she really wanted to pursue the electrical pathway.
“This is just a great opportunity with lots of variety,” she says.
Rachel’s employer has accessed training support from Construction Training Fund and is reaping the benefits of having an apprentice in their team.
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