Women Apprentices in Victorian Electrical (WAVE Project)
The 2023 industry collaboration award at the Australian Training Award went to Holmesglen Institute. It was clear from the outset that Holmesglen’s innovation for women apprentices in Victorian Electrical project was going to be a winner. Here is what Ross Digby, Associate Director: Centre For Energy and Infrastructure at Holmesglen says about the project that led to such success.
“The purpose of the WAVE project was to increase the participation of women (and people who identified as being female) in electrical apprenticeships in Victoria.
To enable the participants to both gain and have the support structure in place to complete their electrical apprenticeship, participants completed the Certificate II in Electrotechnology (career start) and were provided with a range of targeted support services. The support services included mentoring, provided by women who had completed an electrical apprenticeship and now have a successful career in the electrical industry.Support was also provided for the supply of tools and personal protective equipment required to work in the industry.
In preparing for the delivery of the program, we helped trainers to increase their awareness of any unconscious biases that they may have, and ensure that the way they undertook their training and assessment was respectful and inclusive. We also updated the learning resources so that they were not gender biased and the examples/scenarios used in the training and assessment were inclusive and appropriate for women. Discreet support was also provided to women undertaking the program to assist with childcare, transport costs and other issues that had precluded them from undertaking an apprenticeship pathway previously.
When the program participants commenced their apprenticeship, the mentoring program was maintained and the participants themselves established their own support network to ensure that they all succeeded in completing their apprenticeship. The participants who completed this program have gone onto undertake apprenticeships in the electrotechnology, electrical fitting, and electrical services infrastructure – distribution overhead streams.
This program has taken a small step in increasing the participation of women in the electrical apprenticeships, but there is still much work to be done.”
Congratulations to the women who participated, to Holmesglen and to the employer partners for such an important step to addressing the huge gender gap in the electrical trades industry.
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