MTAQ: First Pre-Vocational Course For Women at Women on Tools Toolbox Breakfast
The Sir Jack Brabham Automotive Centre of Excellence was buzzing with excitement on a chilly Monday morning on the 17th of May as around 100 attendees came together to celebrate the significant contributions of women in automotive, as well as other trades at the Women on Tools Toolbox Breakfast.
An initiative of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), the Women on Tools Toolbox Breakfast is an opportunity for women from across trades to connect, network and support each other as they progress in traditionally male-dominated industries.
It is also an opportunity to keep up to date on the latest news and events relating to women in trades, as well as hear from industry leaders and mentors on their experiences as they navigate through the many barriers that still prevent many women from securing a career in the trade.
A jovial supporter of NAWIC and the promotion of career opportunities for women, the Honorable Di Farmer, Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development was on hand to launch the event and delivered a strong message to the female trailblazers in attendance.
“To everyone here this morning, never forget you are important role models. We always say you can’t be what you can’t see and it’s really important that these young girls in the crowd can see someone in front of them who has actually jumped over the hurdles to actually get where they want to be,” said Minister Farmer.
“Just in the last 12 months alone, there has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of women taking up apprenticeships in construction, engineering and automotive-related trades, which is simply fantastic news.”
The highlight of the breakfast, however, was still to come. In what proved to be a momentous occasion for MTA Queensland and the wider automotive industry, Minister Farmer joined MTA Group CEO Rod Camm to co-announce the launch of the MTA Institute’s first automotive pre-vocational course for women.
“We truly are committed to ramping up the support for women looking to enter our industry and are very excited to be able to bring this course to industry,” said Camm. “Through this course, we are able to provide more tailored support, more resources and put better systems in place to allow more women to confidently commence a career in the automotive industry.”
Delivered by a qualified female trainer, the women’s automotive pre-vocational course is a five-week program designed to teach women the skills necessary to go on and gain employment and potentially an apprenticeship in the automotive industry. Students will learn a range of tasks relating to identifying and inspecting mechanical and electrical components and systems of light vehicles while connecting with like-minded women in a supportive environment.
The Women on Tools Breakfast is just one of several initiatives pioneered by NAWIC in their mission to advocate for positive change and develop resources to improve opportunities for women in the trades. Another initiative recently launched is the Male Allies Program, which entails a group of male industry leaders being identified and selected to lead the way in championing for diversity and inclusion in the workplace in their respective industries.
Camm, one of these male allies, recently featured in the NAWIC male allies promotional video series to discuss the important role men play in creating a supportive workplace environment for women looking to enter the industry.
Camm also took a moment at the breakfast to announce MTA Queensland’s commitment to the ‘women in automotive’ initiative to improve the gender balance in all areas of the automotive industry. Camm also confirmed a commitment to all NAWIC industry roundtables to effect positive change.
“When you look at the data, almost 20 per cent of the automotive workforce is made up of women, which by itself sounds fantastic. However, 92 per cent of these women are employed in administrative and office roles and just 2.4 per cent of our tradespeople are women and this is something we are absolutely committed to fixing,” explained Camm.
“As we continue to look for improvement in this regard, it is important that we look at the barriers to employment many women still face. But more importantly, to really improve gender representation, we must start building a solid foundation for supporting entry into the industry. At MTA Queensland, this is our utmost focus and the reason for the birth of the women-focused course.”
MTA Queensland remains proud of our commitment to promoting gender equality and inclusion throughout the industry. In 2020, Sue Davis was appointed as the chair of the MTA Institute, while women currently sit on the committee in four of our divisions:
Andrea McCarthy – Chair of the NACA division
Sharine Milne – Vice-chair of the QMID division
Hatice Hutchinson – Secretary of the ERAQ division
Tracey Randall – Secretary of the APRD division
Approximately 50 per cent of the MTA Queensland team are women, however, with our network of trainers being predominantly male, there are areas we can still improve moving forward.
The first women-focused automotive pre-vocational course will take place Monday 26 July, with places already filling up fast.
For more information on the women’s focused automotive pre-vocational course visit: https://mtai.edu.au/courses/pre-apprenticeship/aur20716-certificate-2-in-automotive-vocational-preparation/