Dad’s work sparks Irene’s interest in electrical career

Wollongong’s Irene Kyriacou is making her mark in the traditionally male dominated electrical industry and taking a step towards meeting the 2016 International Women’s Day pledge to accelerate gender parity.

Irene joined host employer BlueScope in 2015 after securing an electrical apprenticeship through state-wide group training organisation, HVTC.

“Irene is an exceptional apprentice who is always willing to learn and help others. The work she performs is always at a high standard. Irene is very motivated and asks questions on all tasks she is undertaking,” said Tom Anagnostopoulos, Electrical Shop Supervisor, BlueScope.

Irene admits she hadn’t considered a career as an electrician until her final year at school.

“I’d always thought I’d go into teaching but the closer I got to the end of Year 12 I realised it really wasn’t what I wanted to do,” said Irene.

“My dad is an electrician and I always thought he had an interesting job. The more I thought about his work, the more interested I became in following a similar path so I set out to find myself an electrical apprenticeship.”

“I was very fortunate to secure an apprenticeship with BlueScope and I’m currently undertaking Certificate III in Electrotechnology. BlueScope has been tremendously supportive, as has my HVTC Field Officer, Michael Ruddock.”

“It’s been a really great experience. I’m enjoying the work, especially the practical side of my apprenticeship. I love getting stuck into a job and getting my hands dirty.”

“I love the industrial environment I’m currently working in as it allows me to work on a broad range of equipment and machinery. I’m fortunate to be working with very experienced tradespeople who’ve taught me so much. They’re very willing to answer my questions and let me get involved in the jobs we receive.”

“In all my dealings with Irene, I have found her to be a highly respectful young woman who has proven herself to be a valued and reliable member of all the departments she has worked for. Irene’s supervisors all praise her exceptional work ethics, professionalism and attention to detail,” said HVTC’s Michael Ruddock.

“Irene has shown all the attributes of a becoming a first class electrician and is a great role model to other young women considering a career in a non-traditional trade, showing what can be achieved with the right attitude and commitment to your studies.”

“I’d certainly encourage other women to pursue a trade and not be put off by thoughts that they might be working in a traditionally male dominated industry because that really shouldn’t come into it,” said Irene.

“I think women bring a different energy and mindset to their work which can contribute to a very positive dynamic and culture in the workplace.”

Life outside of work is quite removed from Irene’s day job.

“I’m a singer and a singing teacher. I also like to play the guitar, go out dancing and play soccer.”

Irene Kyriacou image

Irene loves the practical side of her job.