Up to 400 scholarships worth $3000 will be available to women over 18 who are training at Certificate III level or above in specified qualifications.
Women completing a traineeship or apprenticeship will receive $1000, with an incentive of $2000 offered to employers for taking on amatuer workers and to help cover any training costs.
Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said the program was about encouraging women into areas traditionally only followed by men.
‘Changing technology means many of these trades now require a different skill set, and may offer careers previously not considered by women,’ she said.
Recent estimates offered by the Small Business Development Corporation have one third of WA’s 210,000 small businesses run by women. Atwell electrician Nadia Engelbrecht is one.
She admitted it was a daunting task quitting an architecture degree in her final year to go it alone, even if it was to follow her passion.
Ms Engelbrecht ditched the classroom and computer screen after using her breaks to work in the mines.
While she was prepared for the hard early slog to establish Electrogirls, she said she had found her feet.
‘Usually there’s a bit of a ‘ooh and ahh’ when people see that I’m a woman,’ she said.
‘People are really interested in my story and how I became an electrician.’
Five months after founding her electrical contracting business, she is already looking to expand.
‘I would love to see more females in non-traditional fields and to see those stereotypes broken,’ she said.
‘It’s already happening a lot more.
‘We’re seeing that it’s more about the skills you bring rather than whether you’re male or female.’
For information on the scholarships, visit www.dtwd.wa.gov. au.
To contact Electrogirls, check out the Facebook page.