Seeing an opportunity to grow women participation in the electrical trades, the Women in Apprenticeships Victoria Electrical (WAVE) project commenced. The project is a collaboration between the Victorian Electrical Trades Union, Holmesglen Institute, Trades Hall Council, Australian Women in Solar Energy, and the Victorian Department of Education and Training. A targeted, holistic approach was taken from engagement to placement, supported by strategies to attract, recruit, train, support and retain women into electrical apprenticeships.
The program provided participants with a women-only pre-apprenticeship course, access to apprenticeship opportunities and support for apprentices to transition into the industry, with a focus on multi-layered mentoring.
The program was a success, with 94% of participants completing the pre-apprenticeship program, and of these, 77% secured employment as an electrical apprentice. Many of the participants see a future in the industry, and are now undertaking their Certificate III in Electrotechnology with Holmesglen Institute.
The WAVE collaboration creates a strong brand for the electrical industry as one that welcomes inclusion and diversity.