Ellenbrook Secondary College student shaking up traditional thinking in the building and construction industry

Caitlin Holmes the only girl in the first year of the Certificate II in Building and Construction. Picture: Bruce Hunt
Caitlin Holmes the only girl in the first year of the Certificate II in Building and Construction. Picture: Bruce Hunt

CAITLIN Holmes (17) is helping change the thinking on traditional jobs for boys or girls and is well on her way to becoming a qualified bricklayer.

Traditionally a man’s job, bricklaying is fast becoming a woman’s way of life in WA’s booming building industry.

Caitlin’s predecessor at Ellenbrook Secondary College, Shawnah Godden, was the first girl to take to the trowel there and achieve a Certificate II in Building and Construction after completing the two year course.

“I love working with my hands in the outdoors and don’t mind the inevitable calluses and broken nails,” Caitlin said.

“I hope to get an apprenticeship in the building industry on completion of this two year course.”

Caitlin takes it in her stride that she is the only girl among the 20 boys in the workplace learning classes, which are held four times a week.

She has successfully completed the first year of the two-year course.

Design and technical teacher Jeff Imrie, in addition to helping smash the traditional gender job roles in construction, has other successes to his credit; three of his male proteges took gold, silver and bronze medals in the recent World Skills Bricklaying Expo.

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