Pre-apprenticeship program - Janika Walsh
Pre-apprenticeship Program

Empowering women in trades: Transgrid's Pre-Apprenticeship Program paves the way for a more diverse workforce

22 January 2024

Applications now open until 11 Feb 2024, for our pre-apprenticeship program in electrical trades for women. The five-week course covers two subjects that can be credited towards a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician.

Australia has made significant strides in promoting gender diversity in various industries, yet the field of engineering, particularly in the trades workforce, still grapples with a noticeable gender gap. While women's participation in engineering and technical roles has increased over the years, there is a need for more initiatives to bridge this divide. Initiatives to attract and retain women in engineering trades are crucial for promoting equality and unlocking the full potential of the clean energy workforce.

Transgrid's Pre-Apprenticeship Program offers an unique opportunity for aspiring female electricians to gain valuable insights and hands-on experience in the field before committing to a full apprenticeship.

This 5-week program in Electrical Trades includes two subjects that can be credited towards a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician. This not only allows participants to gain foundational knowledge but also gives them a head start in their journey towards becoming qualified electrical tradespersons. 

Janika Walsh's Journey

To better understand the pre-apprenticeship program, we recently had the opportunity to interview Janika Walsh. Having completed the pre-apprenticeship program before transitioning to a full apprenticeship in 2023, Janika shared valuable insights into her experience.

Janika expressed how the program provided her with a solid foundation in electrical work, helping her build confidence in her abilities. She also highlighted that the program served as a crucial stepping stone, offering a sneak peek into the day-to-day responsibilities of an electrical tradesperson, allowing her to assess whether the industry was the right fit for her before committing to a full apprenticeship. This self-discovery aspect of the program is invaluable, as it empowers women to make informed decisions about their career paths.

Q: What prompted you to apply for the pre-apprenticeship program?

A: I applied for the pre apprenticeship program because I wanted to leave school early and wasn't sure if the electrical trade was for me. So, for me it was a bit of a trial to see if it would be something I'd enjoy doing for a living. 

Q: What advice would you offer to women of similar age groups who are considering enrolling in the pre-apprenticeship program?

A: My advice to girls who are thinking of doing the pre-apprenticeship is you should give it a shot, it's a perfect way for you to get your foot in the door and get a feel for what kind of work is involved here at Transgrid.

Q: From your perspective, what advantages does a career in the electricity industry provide?

A: Working in the electrical industry especially Transgrid provides you with so many opportunities. The electrical industry is always growing and changing and there's so many opportunities within it. There are so many paths I can take my career within Transgrid. 

Q: What aspects of working at Transgrid do you find most fulfilling or enjoyable?

A: I find many aspects of the work enjoyable, every day is different so you never get bored, I'm always learning new things and all the tradespeople are great people and love teaching you things and encourage you to ask questions.

Q: What’s your transition like from the pre-apprenticeship program to being an apprentice?

A: The course work and work experience I did in the pre-apprenticeship program made it a smooth transition. It gave me the foundation I needed to prepare me for TAFE and being on job sites. 

Q: In hindsight, are there any improvements or enhancements you wish the pre-apprenticeship program could make?

A: I think the course was perfect because you learnt some basic theory of electrical and got tours of the sites and got to see what some of the jobs looked like in real life. 

Q: Were there any obstacles or challenges you faced in becoming a tradesperson, and how did you overcome them?

A: I don't really think I had many obstacles becoming an apprentice I'm really grateful everyone has let me learn at my own pace and been so accommodating.

Q: What are your long-term career aspirations within the industry?

A: I hope that long-term I can eventually become a job planner because they use their knowledge from being on the tools in the field and apply it to helping prepare and plan for jobs which is a really important role.