Diversity in the future of trades

The 2021 Girls in Trade event, led by Great South programme Southland Youth Futures, was held in May in Invercargill. HWR was a proud partner in supporting diversity in the trades, by encouraging young women to consider them as a career pathway.

Roading and civil contracting company SouthRoads supported the initiative with staff members Santaya Miekle and Shannon Hall speaking to attendees about their journeys along the trades pathway. Following presentations from other inspiring guest speakers, some students headed to Dig This and to HWR’s Driver Training operations facility to get some hands-on experience in a mini digger and on a forklift.

The event, which already had a waitlist of young female students wanting to attend, received overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants and teachers. All of the respondents said the event increased their knowledge and understanding of career pathways into trades. HWR was especially pleased to hear that students resonated with hearing from young speakers, like Santaya and Shannon, and practical activities such as the visit to Driver Training and Dig This, were amongst the highlights of the day.

The success of this event was the result of the incredible support Great South had from HWR Driver Trainer Administrator Rachael Poole, along with other employers and education providers within Southland. This collaborative approach has given Southland youth an experiential event that has opened their eyes to the trades sector, generated interest and provided clear information on pathways into trades. It is hoped the event will become annual.