An apprenticeship is a great career path, one that is open to all Australians, however, there is no denying that some trades have long been considered male domains. This view is changing, as we see more women challenging assumptions and breaking new ground.

Apprenticeship Network Provider, VERTO, works across regional Australia, matching apprentices and employers, such as Sharni, the first female apprentice at Albury-based kitchen and cabinet manufacturer, QA Kitchens.

QA Kitchens have a strong apprenticeship program and have worked closely with VERTO to find apprentices for the last five years. The company says that Sharni has been an asset to the business and its culture. At the conclusion of her work placement, Sharni was offered a permanent role.

"Sharni’s initiative and attention to detail complement her potential to add to our business culture,” says Deanna, Director, QA Kitchens.

“If you are hesitant to put on a female apprentice you simply shouldn’t be,” she says.

VERTO Chief Executive Officer, Ron Maxwell, says that while recent growth in female apprentices is promising, the conversation needs to change.

“We need to rethink how we talk about trade careers with our girls, both at school and at home,” he explains.

“If we can succeed in this, we have the potential to grow and advance Australia’s trade industries, keep the skills shortage at bay and give a boost to our economy.”