Females in Automotive Break the Mould of the Tradie Stereotype


GOTAFE Automotive Department at Wangaratta has seen an influx of female automotive students in 2014, with eight females enrolled in the Certificate III Paint and Panel.

GOTAFE Team Leader Automotive, Mark Ward said the influx of female students is a welcome change from having male dominated classes and he believes it is the start of a bigger trend across traditional trades.

“The eight female apprentices who are enrolled in automotive are diligent workers, good all round students and the quality of work they produce is fantastic,” said Mark.

“Females in traditional trades is a trend that is becoming more and more popular; financial incentives for areas with skills shortages, advances in technology and a shift in attitudes have broadened the openings for females across traditional trades.

“They like the physicality of the work, the comradery between other students and for many of them the best part of being in a trade is being able to say ‘I created that’ at end of a project, whether they have re-painted a damaged vehicle or created a custom paint design to the owners specifications, there is great satisfaction gained from being able to create something with your own hands.

“And the money can be good too, a fully qualified apprentice could earn anything up to $40 an hour and there are a lot of incentives for apprentices in automotive as well as specific financial incentives for females in trades.”

Women and girls looking for a career that offers flexibility, portability, solid financial prospects and the opportunity to learn skills that will last a lifetime, should explore the benefits of learning a trade and getting their qualifications through GOTAFE.

Mark went on to say that GOTAFE offer a number of a pre-apprenticeships, saying these Certificate II level courses offer an ideal stepping stone into an apprenticeship and employment.

“We have a number of automotive pre-apprenticeships including general automotive, air conditioning, electrical and engineering, and also in other trades like glass and glazing,” said Mark.

“A pre-apprenticeship gives students job ready skills meaning they can walk straight into an apprenticeship and quite often their skills are far more advanced than someone straight from high school, additionally employers recognise a pre-apprenticeship as a good indicator of the high skill level they have come to expect.

“In 2015 we are offering Certificate II in Automotive (pre-apprenticeship) for the first time in Wodonga which will take place at Wodonga Secondary School.”

For more information on automotive courses at GOTAFE please visitGOTAFE Automotive or for information on financial incentives available to apprentices and females in trades please visit Women-in-Trades