Charging up support for women in the electrical industry

Ebony and Michaela, Powercor scholarship recipients

Federation TAFE has partnered with Powercor to charge up the support for women in the electrical industry.

Federation TAFE female students can gain access to a Powercor Scholarship as part of the Federation University Australia Foundation, equating to an annual value of $1,500 per successful applicant.

Eligibility criteria for applications include being an enrolled female student with Federation TAFE and to be undertaking the Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) course.

Students apply online before conducting a formal interview at Powercor.

Federation TAFE graduates, Michaela Shirley, and Ebony O’Doherty-Bowman who both completed Certificate II in Electrotechnology are successful in securing a Powercor Scholarship this year and have commenced apprenticeships with Powercor working in the transformers and metering departments.

Michaela is a 20-year-old Buninyong local who commenced her career in electrical after completing work experience at an electrical company. Michaela then started a pre-apprenticeship course in year 11 through Federation’s VETiS, searching for a job that was the right fit before landing the role with Powercor.

Michaela is passionate about her trade, “the trade itself is very diverse and has many different avenues for you to branch into.”

She enjoys learning new things and expanding her knowledge as well as s acknowledging that the electrical industry is important to the community.

“It’s very rewarding to be a part of that and be able to help keep customers and communities supplied with power.”

Ebony is also a 20-year-old from Ballarat, and always knew that she wanted to do something ‘hands on’ for her career, growing up on a farm she has always been adventurous and “not afraid of giving things a crack.”

After completing secondary school, Ebony was still unsure of what to do for her future, she stumbled upon the Certificate II in Electrotechnology at Federation TAFE and has not looked back since.

Ebony loves the range of tasks she undertakes in her current role at Powercor, but really appreciates the people she works with “the people that I am surrounded by are committed, passionate and willing to help at the drop of a hat.”

While there are currently no restrictions to access training in the electrical industry for women, the field is traditionally male dominated, making the Powercor scholarship an additional incentive to get women through the TAFE doors and into the workforce.

“It has allowed me to cover costs associated with the apprenticeship and any equipment needed to complete the course.” Michaela said.

“When people have told me I can’t do something purely because I'm female, it has made me more determined to reach my goal.”

“Thankfully, the barriers that existed more prolifically for women entering trades years ago are slowly disappearing. But I still think there’s room for improvement.”

The money received in the scholarship goes a long way to reduce financial barriers faced specifically by women wishing to enter training including paying for childcare, transport, purchasing safety clothing and equipment such as a laptop.

“This scholarship provides me with a great deal of confidence in my future. It took away the barrier for financial stress whilst trying to secure my apprenticeship and allowed me to focus more attention towards improving my knowledge and skills.” Ebony said.

To read more about the scholarship and others available, head to:

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