John Holland, with Optec backing, has commenced a pilot programme with SheWorks to encourage and employ four female apprentices in the rail traction specialist area.
SheWorks is a social enterprise fully owned and operated by Australian non-profit organisation Fitted for Work, that connects work ready women with employers seeking to attract and retain quality female employees.
Optec is throwing its support behind the initiative to recruit female apprentices.
Optec entered into a three-year contract with John Holland to deliver training to ten apprentices in Victoria for the Certificate III in ESI power systems rail traction. The apprentices commenced their training on 8 October 2018 and will continue their study for three years.
John Holland and Optec enthusiastically participated in SheWorks’ presentation and information sessions for prospective female candidates. The sessions informed candidates of the work involved and gave them an opportunity to speak to John Holland supervisors and the Optec technical experts who will be delivering the training.
Candidates were also able to view and lift some of the equipment they will be working with during their apprenticeship.
SheWorks provides support and coaching to the candidates throughout the recruitment process. All successful candidates are enrolled in the SheWorks 12 month mentoring programme, where they are matched with a mentor and receive ongoing support to help them navigate and remain in the role.
Regular training will coincide with work schedules as the apprentices also work on the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project.
Optec’s technical expertise, as well as John Holland’s constructions project expertise, make the two companies a strong force in the apprentice sphere and they are using this opportunity to actively encourage female representation in the industry.