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Grace boldly steps into the light

 

After several years working in industry, 27 year old Byron Bay local Grace Gibson has made the bold change from construction and mining to an electrical apprenticeship.

Employed by HVTC Northern Rivers and hosted by Electrotech Systems, Grace is currently working on the Lismore Base Hospital project and loving the change.

“It's fast paced and keeps me on my toes. It's challenging mentally and physically, and steel cap boots are pretty comfy. Everyone treats me really well on site and I like to think I lighten up the mood a bit in the office,” she said.

When considering a career change, Grace felt that four years of study for a university degree wasn't really her cup of tea.

“I like to be hands-on and in the field rather than in a classroom or at a computer. When thinking about my future I knew I needed something that would allow me to always have work and be able to work anywhere in the world,” said Grace.

Grace’s HVTC Field Officer Chris Calear says she is a great worker and has had an outstanding start to her apprenticeship.

“She has been given a heavy workload for a first year apprentice but is performing exceptionally well and her supervisors have praised her efforts. She puts in 100 percent at all times and believes in getting on with the job without any fuss,” said Chris.

Keen to one day go into management and work her way to the top in her field, Grace encourages other women to take up a non-traditional trade.

“If you're a girl that likes to keep fit and isn't afraid of operating power tools or kissing your manicure days goodbye then it's for you,” said Grace.

Grace is completing a Certificate III in Electrotechnology – Electrician at TAFE NSW Wollongbar campus.

HVTC is committed to increasing the number of women in non-traditional trades. A non-traditional trade is one where women represent less than 25% of apprentices or workers.

International Women’s Day is on Wednesday March 8. This year’s theme is Be Bold For Change.

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