Illawarra Apprentice Breaks Down Barriers for Women in Trades

It was a big weekend for HVTC Illawarra apprentice Althea (Tay) Kruizinga, as she took out two major award wins at this year’s NSW Training Awards and the Apprentice Employment Network (AEN) NSW & ACT Group Training Awards.

The AEN NSW & ACT Group Training Awards were announced virtually last Friday evening, with Tay taking out the Apprentice of the Year award.

And on Saturday, Tay’s achievements were recognised yet again at the NSW Training Awards virtual presentation, where she was awarded the Special Award for a Woman in Non-Traditional Trade or Vocation.

The award wins come off the back of Tay taking out the Apprentice of the Year category at the Illawarra and South East NSW Training Awards in June, as well as being named HVTC’s Woman in Non-Traditional Trade Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

HVTC CEO Sharon Smith commended Tay on her awards and says that her achievements are a recognition of the opportunities vocational education and training (VET) can provide for people looking to change careers.

“Tay’s success is a real indicator of how apprenticeships and traineeships can offer people the opportunity to kickstart a new career and achieve outstanding success in their chosen trade.

“As a mature-aged female apprentice entering a traditionally male-dominated industry, Tay took everything in her stride and quickly learned the tricks of the trade, being recognised in her first year as BlueScope’s Apprentice of the Year.

“Since completing her training, Tay has obtained an ongoing permanent role with her Host Employer, BlueScope, and has gone on to be recognised at a regional and now state level.

“Tay has not only proven herself in a male-dominated trade but has excelled in her career and provides an excellent role model to young girls and women who are looking to pursue a trade career.

“On behalf of all at HVTC, we congratulate Tay on her outstanding achievements throughout her training and the recognition she has received for her success.”

Althea Kruizinga