Girls experience options for career in trade sector

Driving a crane and connecting circuits to make a bell ring were some of the activities on offer at Clyde Dam this week.

About 25 girls from high schools in Central Otago and Upper Clutha had a chance to get their hands on equipment and try it out as part of the Girls with Hi Vis event at the Contact Energy Clyde power station yesterday.

Girls with Hi Vis was developed by Connexis Infrastructure Training to show girls the options for a career in trade sectors at all levels.

Women working at the power station spoke to the girls outlining their roles and how they got there.

There was a range of experiences and educational pathways that had led the women to their roles. While the ratio of women to men in their workplace was improving, about 70% of workers are men.

After hearing from the speakers, it was hands-on for the girls who toured the power station, saw mechanical and electrical engineers working models and tried crane driving.

Contact Energy engineers Brayden Courtney, left, and Kartik Kishore demonstrate electrical...
Contact Energy engineers Brayden Courtney, left, and Kartik Kishore demonstrate electrical circuits to girls from Central Otago and Upper Clutha high schools at a Girls with Hi Vis event at Clyde power station yesterday. PHOTO: JULIE ASHER
Wakatipu High School pupil Lucy Thompson said driving the crane with hand-held remote controls was much harder than it looked.

"I said we would do it with our eyes closed as a trust test to start with."

She quickly discovered that moving the controls even on someone else’s instructions required all her senses.

Connexis service manager Stephen Griffiths said earning while you learn was a great drawcard for apprenticeships.

Cromwell College Gateway co-ordinator Jenna Innes said they offered places to pupils and they were quickly snapped up.

Three 17-year-old girls from Cromwell College all had different ideas about what they were looking for yesterday and the types of careers they planned for themselves.

Paige Reid said she wanted a hands-on career and was interested in being a draughtsman. Classmate Elliet Young said she wanted to be out on the tools getting her hands dirty.

Madeleine Lawrence was quite firm in what she was looking for in a career: "I don’t want to go to uni and I want to be rich."