Hastings apprentice Brooke White with Hastings Deering's executive manager of operations Darren Wilson Darren Wilson and fellow apprentice Tegan Callow.
Hastings apprentice Brooke White with Hastings Deering's executive manager of operations Darren Wilson Darren Wilson and fellow apprentice Tegan Callow.

Young women defying odds in male-dominated careers

A YOUNG duo have defied their parents to pursue careers in a male-dominated industry.

Rockhampton's Tegan Callow and Mackay's Brooke White were among 21 of Hastings Deering's 2017 apprentice intake, following in the footsteps of 18 other female tradies in the last few years.

Engine reconditioning apprentice Tegan was so determined to get an apprenticeship she defied her parents, leaving her Agnes Waters home at age 16, for Gladstone Technical College.

Her training offered two weeks schooling alternating with two weeks work experience giving her a real taste of life as a engine re-conditioner

"Of course they are thrilled now but were really worried I would have wasted a year and would then not be able to sit Grade 12 if I took this path,” she said.

"But I was so determined I just took things into my own hands.

"Dad is a fitter and turner so I guess it was a mix of whether this was a good career for his daughter and whether or not I could secure an apprenticeship that gave him angst.”

Likewise, diesel fitting apprentice Brooke White's parents were concerned, at 16, she was too young to move from her home at Maryborough for training at any one of Hastings Deering's centres at Rockhampton, Mackay or Brisbane, so she put her apprenticeship dreams on hold.

She took a local job in spare parts before applying to the Navy to be a marine technician; her roundabout way of getting a diesel fitting apprenticeship.

"I got to work on marine engines, which was great experience but I knew I wanted more,” Brooke said.

"Then I broke my ankle and needed surgery, so I had to take a break from the Navy for 12 months.

"I never gave up on my ambition to work for Hastings Deering so while I was off I decided to go for it and applied for an apprenticeship and was successful.

"Sometime it takes a bit longer to get where you want to be.”

This is the first of Hastings Deering's apprenticeship intakes as the company continues with its commitment to training capabilities and the need to continually replenish its talent pipeline.

The company rents, supports and sells Cat earthmoving equipment to the mining, agriculture, forestry, construction, transport and government sector.

Current data shows apprenticeships have declined in Australia: the number of registered apprentices fell by 15,000 between 2013 and 2015.

Hastings Deering's general manager - people and external affairs Vincent Cosgrove said even though the resource sector was cyclical, continuing with apprenticeships was critical to avoid a skills shortage in the future.

He said this year they had employed 18 apprentices from Queensland, hailing from Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Brisbane Mount Isa and the Northern Territory.

Hastings Deering employs about 3000 people, with females making up 15% of the workforce, and 5% made up of apprentices in diesel fitting, auto electrical and fabrication roles.



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