International Women's Day 2018

Women in trade celebrated

One of Australia biggest resources companies has seen a 15 per cent improvement in performance as a result of hiring more women, an International Women’s Day event heard today.

Northern Adelaide’s leading technical and trade high school, St Patrick’s Technical College, hosted employers, government, training groups and industry at a special International Women’s Day assembly this morning.

Speaking at the event, BHP’s Stephen Johnson said the company was working towards the goal of 50/50 gender equality workforce by 2025 because it made good business sense.

Guest speakers for International Women's Day at St Patrick's Technical College.

Guest speakers for International Women’s Day at St Patrick’s Technical College.

Mr Johnson said across the world, BHP’s top ten inclusive sites performed better than those who were not actively recruiting female workers. He said the sites with more women were safer, more productive and more innovative – which had real, positive business outcomes for the company.

“It’s about making inroads, it’s not about preferential treatment,’’ Mr Johnson said.

Also speaking at the event with Mr Johnson were BHP Olympic Dam employees Rebecca Hicks, Planner Work Management, Ross Vickers, Specialist Apprentices, and apprentice Carmen Bivone along with StPatsTech teacher Linda Burton.

Mr Vickers said of the last three apprentice intakes for Olympic Dam mine, 60 per cent of the apprentices were females. StPatsTech College student Laura Oakley began her apprenticeship at Olympic Dam last year.

“The message to the guys out there is you’ve got to step it up because it’s becoming very even,’’ Mr Vickers said.

He said there are employment opportunities as heavy diesel mechanics, electrical, metals and engineering and auto-electricians.

In 2016, BHP saw a global increase of 2.9 per cent of women in its workforce bringing the total number of women in BHP’s worldwide workforce to 20 per cent.

Ms Burton, who is an electrician and runs her own contracting business as well as teaching students at StPatsTech, told the gathering there was a high level of sexism in her industry when she began her apprenticeship.

“Of the 450 apprentices, there was just two girls and I was quite appalled at the time by the attitude of the men there,’’ Ms Burton said.

Linda Burton speaking during the event.

Linda Burton speaking during the event.

“But on the other side to that, there has been some really supportive people. I have always thought, if you can do the job you can earn the respect of other people around you.’’

Ms Burton said she worked harder, studied harder and pushed herself more to prove herself in her industry and that drive to succeed often made women leaders in their industry.

She said equality to her meant the best skilled, most qualified person for the job got the work no matter their sex.

“I want to know I got the job because I deserved it. You can call me a tradesman because I’ve earnt that title. And one more thing I wanted to say, if you don’t know why International Women’s Day is necessary, then it is necessary.’’

Ms Burton said women were still fighting for equal pay and to be taken seriously in workshops across the country.


2018 off on the right foot

St Patrick’s Technical College students have begun 2018 on the right foot, with a handful of students working over the school holidays to secure themselves a School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SbAT) by the time classes started this week.

Three students have signed on for a SbAT during the school holidays and another student will soon begin his trade career.

College Principal Danny Deptula said the students’ commitment to gaining an apprenticeship or traineeship set the tone for the 2018 school year.

“Here at StPatsTech, we strive to help our students develop their own unique gifts and talents and prepare them for the world of work,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“If our students show they have the right attitude and are committed to their chosen trade, they will be afforded amazing opportunities that can set them onto a lifetime of success.

“We are not a traditional school where ATAR scores are given high priority. We focus on employability skills which means developing the person, fostering the right attitude, learning resilience and building confidence.”

One student who has taken the initiative is 17-year-old Cristian Neve. Cristian, from Angle Vale, has begun a Certificate III in Concreting through MEGT with Burton-based Xtreme Concrete Construction

Pictured from left are: Nigel Martini Xtreme Concrete Construction, Cristian Neve, Cristian’s dad Jason Neve (dad), Rachael Jensen from MEGT, Rachael Martini (and son) from Xtreme Concrete Construction and new StPatsTech College Principal Danny Deptula.

Pictured from left are: Nigel Martini Xtreme Concrete Construction, Cristian Neve, Cristian’s dad Jason Neve (dad), Rachael Jensen from MEGT, Rachael Martini (and son) from Xtreme Concrete Construction and new StPatsTech College Principal Danny Deptula.

. He will spend 40 weeks this year with his employer and six weeks at school completing his SACE.

This will mean Cristian will graduate Year 12 in November 2018 with the first year of his traineeship completed and his Year 12 certificate.

“It’s very important to me to get my SACE because in the future you don’t know what will happen and it’s a good thing to have under your belt,’’ Cristian said.

Cristian did work experience with Xtreme Concrete Construction last year as part of the extensive StPatsTech Year 11 work experience program before moving into a part-time labouring role with the company. He signed his traineeship on January 11.

Mr Deptula congratulated Cristian on his traineeship and said Cristian and the College’s other SbATs were on the pathway to success in life.

“For example a student in an apprenticeship at 17 years old can expect to earn about $250,000 in wages by the age of 24. With no HECS debt like their 24-year-old university graduate peers, the tradesperson would be able to afford to buy their first home. By the age of 35, the tradesperson could have paid off their first mortgage and be financially secure into the future,” Mr Deptula said.


The Southern Cross

The Southern Cross newspaper features all the latest news and information on the South Australian Catholic community and is available for sale at parishes for $2, with $1 retained as a fundraiser for parishes. Links to each electronic issue are provided here for the StPatsTech community.


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