Mum of two ‘sparky’ beats the odds


Like many mums, Tracey Milthorpe decided to re-enter the workforce when her two children were both at school. However, Tracey didn’t consider the ‘usual’ return work occupations, choosing instead to commence her career in a male dominated industry.

She enrolled in an electrical pre-apprenticeship at GOTAFE to get a taste of the electrical industry and make sure that it was the profession she wanted to commit to. Tracey is now a third year electrical apprentice, currently completing Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30811).

“I decided to start my electrical apprenticeship as I wanted to do a trade that would keep my mind occupied, I also wanted to do something that wasn’t too physically demanding but still had a moderate physical labour aspect, I like to get my hands dirty, so to speak,” said Tracey.

“I really enjoy it and my family and friends are very supportive.

“My family love the idea that I’m a ‘sparky’ and that I’m doing something against the odds.

“The Trainers are very knowledgeable and supportive and the facilities are great.

“GOTAFE is where I felt I was most comfortable and where I felt I could complete my studies to the best of my ability.”

Tracey believes you have to keep an open mind when working in a male dominated industry.

“I get a few people who look at me twice as I am female, but generally people think it’s great that I’m out there having a go,” she said.

“I’m not there to step on anyone’s feet.  I just want to learn as much as I can.”

For other girls who are looking at entering a Technical Trade, she says ‘go for it’ or if you are unsure, do a bit more research before you decide to commit.

“Talk to people, talk to me,” she said.

“There are pre-apprenticeships and other studies available, they give you a taste of the various industries out there.

“Honestly, you will never know until you try it”.