The Women Who Weld program is aimed at increasing knowledge of trade pathways in the welding industry and was organised by QMI Solutions and sponsored by Cummins.
It provides a unique industry endorsed experience for a very enthusiastic group of female students.
QMI outlines that across Australia, female participation in the engineering labour workforce is just over 12 per cent. More specifically in Queensland, 72 per cent of the workforce are men, and more than half of the workforce is aged 40 of over. With women and those under 40 as the minority in the engineering labour workforce, Women Who Weld aims to expose young women to welding as a gateway to address the national trade skills shortage.
Lauren, a Year 12 student from St Mary’s College who participated in the session, said: “Women Who Weld was a great opportunity to experience a field of work that I wouldn’t have normally experienced at school. It was great to gain knowledge from the Downer guys and be able to ask questions about their day-to-day job. Overall, it was a great experience!”
For our Downer staff, it was great to participate.
“Participating in Women Who Weld initiative is great to be a part of,” said Dean Terry, Welding Supervisor. “It’s rewarding to show a group of young women what a career in welding can mean.
“I had a great time getting back to basics where it all begins, sharing some of our welding world with some potential fabricators of tomorrow.”
The girls learnt many welding techniques under the guidance of Dean and Joe, who received glowing praise for their patience and for sharing their welding knowledge.
Mr Forrest Wadsworth, Teacher of Design and Industrial Technology from St Mary’s College said: “The students participating in the Women Who Weld program had no previous knowledge and it allowed them to focus on the career possibilities available to them. Working with the men from Downer gave another context to their learning, they were able to really connect to the men’s trade experience and their knowledge while learning on a one to one level. Feedback from the students was that the day was pretty special, with many expressing enthusiasm for another day to be organised.”
Downer works to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace and is committed to developing a workforce comprising motivated employees from the widest possible pool of talent. Helping the next generation of women enter a trade is something Downer is proud to be a part of.