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Amber Presses for Progress for IWD 2018

Amber Presses for Progress for IWD 2018

Growing up with a builder Dad, Amber Rose always knew she wanted to work in construction and, after taking part in her school’s Gateway Program with Laser Electrical Ashburton, decided that she wanted to become an electrician.

Directors, Megan and Brent Christie decided to offer her an apprenticeship this year.

“Amber showed us how practical, enthusiastic and switched on she was” said Megan. “She worked well with our team and they were not only keen to have her back but also confident in having her on job sites”.

Brent echoes Megans enthusiasm for hiring Amber. “Our team showed her different aspects of the job and we saw how much she loved it and how much she actually enjoyed being a part of our team. In recognising that she had a passion for training in the Industrial and Commercial areas, we knew that we had to be a part of Amber reaching her goals as an electrician.””

Having finished school in 2017, Amber has only just started as an apprentice but is already enjoying the trade. “You are doing different things everyday and are rarely in the same location as well as meeting new people and solving problems. Every day is different”.

For Brent and Megan, hiring Amber was never about her gender. “We’ve employed female tradies for 30 years and have found it to be a positive experience for both our business and our customers. At the end of the day, it is about the individual and their attitude and approach to the job”.

Figures from the NZ Dept of Statistics show that women account for 2% of the trade workers throughout the construction industry, but evidence suggests that many of these roles may be administrative.

General Manager for the Laser Group, New Zealand’s largest network of plumbers and electricians, Scott Carr encourages all trade business to look outside the square when finding the right people to work in the industry. “When we look at trends in the industries, we know that we are in a period where there are more people leaving trades than we have beginning apprenticeships. The decline in those entering the industry is due to several reasons and something for which there is no simple solution however, by encouraging women to consider taking on a trade, surely, we would take some pressure off the projected trade shortage.”

“The feedback from our Members highlights the benefits brought to the business by hiring women in roles traditionally filled by men. This is something we want to celebrate and inform those who might still be questioning” said Scott, concluding, “hiring the right person for a trade is about more than who can lift a shovel of dirt, it’s about communication, customer engagement and problem solving, and this is where we are finding that the women are excelling.”

As the only female in her electrical course, Amber is indicative of the current statistics however is encouraging other young girls to consider becoming an electrician. “Don’t let anything stop you. If its what you want to do, go for for it.”

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