New program promotes women in welding

A new program to encourage women into the welding trade has kicked off in Queensland.

Queensland Government Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education, Saxon Rice, launched the Women Who Weld initiative yesterday, and said it was encouraging to see the participants of the pilot program forge a new path and help combat Queensland’s skill shortages.

She said a skilled workforce was essential to Queensland’s prosperity, and pointed to the Government’s $86 million funding over six years towards implementing the reforms of the Skills and Training Taskforce. 

“The participants of this program have the opportunity to learn practical welding skills in a real-world manufacturing setting at Atlas Heavy Engineering’s Caboolture facility,” she said.

Participants in the first Women Who Weld program were aged from their late-teens to mid-30s, from a range of backgrounds.

They were presented with a pioneering certificate by the Assistant Minister at the launch to acknowledge their role in the inaugural program.

They will receive a Statement of Achievement at the end of the course in September, and will have progressed towards the completion of three units of competency from the Certificate I in Engineering qualification.

“Growing the skills base of Queensland’s female workers opens up new avenues to tackle skills shortage issues in areas like welding,” Minister Rice said.

The Women Who Weld program is a partnership between Atlas Heavy Engineering and Manufacturing Skills Queensland, which is Skills Queensland’s industry skills body.

The second round of the program is due to commence in August.

The group of participants in the Women Who Weld program, along with Atlas Engineering general manager Rex Vegt, Member for Pumicestone Lisa France and Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education Saxon Rice.