22nd August 2012
Girls in Trades
Along with other initiatives that MIGAS are involved in, “girls in trades” forms an integral part of our business and supports not only the community but industry objectives as well. MIGAS has and always will be an Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) employer , and as such we actively promote girls in trades. We can substantiate this by our history of placing females into trades that were traditionally only filled by males.
Like all applicants that apply for a position with MIGAS, and our industry partners, we look for passion, dedication and commitment to the chosen trade. It is very refreshing when we interview a young girl that demonstrates these key areas. I would go as far to say that sometimes they outshine the boys in an interview. Our industry partners that share the same views as MIGAS have benefitted from this direction and will often comment back to us after the second interview on the girls’ energy and commitment to trades.
I would like to share an example of the success stories with “girls in trades” that I have experienced in the four years I have been with MIGAS:
I interviewed two young girls, along with boys, who were applying for a single position in a light vehicle apprenticeship back in 2010 in the regional town of Muswellbrook, New South Wales. I could not pick a clear-cut preferred candidate to present to the host employer, so I sent all of resumes through. The host interviewed two girls and one boy. The next day I called the host to gain his thoughts and he was in the same position. So, to use his phrasing was to say that although they really only had one position available he did not want to lose the girls to another employer. He accepted the two girls and made room for more work in his workshop. During my interview I spoke to the girls about working in a greasy workshop environment with loud boys and men, just to make them fully aware of the environment they were potentially going to be working in. Both of them looked at me in such a confident way and informed me that they have numerous brothers and have been helping dad with cars for years and not to worry about them.
These types of examples have been repeated across the country in almost all the trades we cover: light, heavy and plant in the automotive industries, and others including electrical, fitting and machining, horticulture and warehousing in traineeships is just to name a few.
Without doing it on purpose, the girls in the trades bring numerous benefits to the workshops and team environment which bring the boys into line and can at times improve the production rates.
We once had a heavy vehicle (trucks and buses) apprentice with a large national host employer, and during one of my visits to see her at TAFE I met with her teacher to monitor her progress. He was so impressed with her ability to absorb and implement knowledge. The other factor he was impressed by was that without her knowing it, the boys would see how well she was going and progressing, that their marks and attitude started to improve as well. He started to see some competitive nature amongst the class, which has two major bonuses to all involved – a positive learning environment and better apprentices supplied to industry when they complete the apprenticeship. He also commented that before she arrived in the class the boys were a typical class of boys, joking around and being mischievous. Along came a girl in the room and the silly behaviour seemed to decline and they started to show some respect for her and start to listen to the teacher.
Employers should not be hesitant to employ girls for the trades – they can bring so many benefits to the workshop. It makes me proud of the current girls in trades when I refer back to the stories when talking to potential clients and applicants for that matter. It always generates more discussion; the above examples, as I stated, are endless and we look forward to creating more good news stories in the future in these areas. Likewise, for the girls who are sitting there dreaming of a trade where she could roll up her sleeves and mix it with the boys – MIGAS invites all girls and boys to chase the trade of their dreams.
NSW State Manager
girls in trades