CARISSA Carpenter is fast becoming a role model for young women looking for a career in a male-dominated trade.
The 21 year-old carpenter-joiner from Brighton was recently named the Statewide Construction Apprentice of the Year.
She was among about 80 apprentices recognised at the Skills Institute Awards announced in Hobart recently.
“I’m trying to encourage other girls to get in there and have a go in a male dominated field,” Carissa said.
“Older women who might be looking for a career change should also be encouraged to join a trade and not be put off by the number of men in the business.”
Carissa, who has just completed her training as a carpenter-joiner with Fairbrother, said she has never had a problem working on a male-dominated building site.
“I was nervous at first of course about being around all these guys all the time and being the only female,” she said.
“But I settled in and they were really nice, they treated me like a little sister and we all get on really well.”
Carissa said women had certain skills that made them good at carpentry.
“We have good hand eye coordination without a doubt,” she said.
“And women are generally pretty patient, you need that.”
Carissa got her first taste for trades when she completed a vocational construction course at Claremont College.
She intends to stay at Fairbrother to one day become a project manager but for now, she is thrilled to be a young leader in her industry.
“It’s just so good to know that what you’ve done for the past four years has been recognised not only by your employer but the Skills Institute too,” she said.
Apprentices training in everything from beauty therapy to bricklaying were honoured at the awards, held at Wrest Point.
Skills Institute chief executive Malcom White said Carissa was part of the next generation of leaders in Tasmanian skilled industries.
“We recognise the achievements of the high achievers among the next generation of leaders in our skilled industries in Tasmania,” he said.