Apprentice carpenter Yasmin Anderson is encouraging school-leavers and job seekers to use National Apprenticeship Week as the inspiration to consider a future in a hands-on career.
Running from February 12 to 18, the week promotes the value of apprenticeships to employers, job seekers, industry, and government, and advances the role apprenticeships play in building workforce skills, knowledge, and a robust Australian economy.
As the demand continues for people with the skills to work in construction, a group of young Shoalhaven women are building careers for themselves in the traditionally male-dominated building sector.
Nowra TAFE carpentry student Yasmin Anderson from Kangaroo Valley is a second-year apprentice who thinks young people who are unsure about their career options should consider a trade.
"After school I knew I didn't want an office job, I always thought I'd go to uni, then I took a gap year and ended up doing a trade," Yasmin said.
"I went with carpentry because it offers so much variety, I'm pretty much doing something different on the job every day from flooring and roofing to fix-outs."
Yasmin said she had learnt a lot over the past year both at TAFE and on the job.
"I've got carpentry skills now that are second nature," she said.
"I enjoy the fine work involved in fix-outs, adding those finishing touches to the job."
"Doing a carpentry apprenticeship means I get to work outdoors and hands-on.
"I get a real sense of accomplishment when I drive past a house we've built. It feels good to be able to say I helped build that," she said.
TAFE's infrastructure, energy and construction director Iain McNiven started his working life as an apprentice plumber and is proud to be working in the organisation that got his career started.
"As the largest provider of skills training in the country, TAFE NSW is playing a key role in helping address areas of high skills demand by training apprentices across the state," he said.
"To meet the infrastructure and housing needs of the community we need more sparkies, plumbers, carpenters, roofers, and construction managers.
"I know from my own experience how valuable an apprenticeship can be in kick-starting a career.," Mr McNiven said.
"They offer the chance to earn a wage while learning and once qualified, tradies have the potential to earn above average incomes.
"Apprenticeships are a path to full-time employment and can set a person up to move into a leadership role or even to take the exciting step of running their own business," Mr McNiven said.