Two Indigenous Australian women are filling a growing need for more females in HVAC&R thanks to an industry-sponsored training program at TAFE NSW.
The Career Start in Air-conditioning & Refrigeration program allows students to develop their skills and knowledge in the trade by completing an entry-level qualification.
Upon successful completion of the program, industry sponsor, the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Building Services Foundation, provided the students with $600 Actrol and Airefrig tool vouchers to kickstart their careers.
Proud Nyawagi woman Shivanhi Nair completed a Certificate II in Engineering, and says the program has given her valuable practical skills and helped her secure employment.
“The course provided me with a range of skills such as how systems work, the use of hand and power tools, and how other trades are involved in air conditioning and refrigeration,” Nair says.
“I am now planning to continue my journey by enrolling in the Certificate III in Air conditioning and Refrigeration while working for my new employer Precise Air Group.”
Proud Turrubul/Bundjalung woman Lena Gill completed a Certificate II in Electrotechnology, and encourages other females to consider entering a trade.
“I’ve always been a hands-on learner, so a career in trades is perfect for me,” says Gill. “If other women out there are passionate about an industry, don’t let anything hold you back.”
TAFE NSW Team Leader of Electronic Trades and Refrigeration Irfan Hai says there are multiple construction and infrastructure projects in the pipeline to drive a “tradie-led” COVID-19 recovery. This means the demand for air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics is surging.
“It’s a perfect time for Shivanhi and Lena to enter the industry, with the residential air-conditioning market growing steadily and the commercial refrigeration sector experiencing skills shortages,” says Hai.
“The Career Start in Air-conditioning & Refrigeration program at TAFE NSW is a great pathway to build a long-term career in a versatile industry with interesting work, strong wages and plenty of job opportunities.”
To assist with the recovery from the impact of COVID-19, the Australian government is providing support to all employers that engage a new Australian apprentice. A total of 100,000 new apprentices and trainees across Australia will be supported by the federal government’s $1.2 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy.
For more information on the TAFE NSW program, click here.
Featured image (from left to right): TAFE NSW Head Teacher Grant Swanson, M.AIRAH, Lena Gill, Shivanhi Nair, and TAFE NSW Head Teacher Russell Farnham.