Toowoomba's lady tradies flourish in male industry

CARPENTRY apprentice Lauren Cockburn is thriving in a male-dominated industry.

Ms Cockburn is now in her fourth year as an apprentice for Hutchinson Builders.

She said she couldn't imagine doing anything else.

"It wasn't anything in particular that made me get into the industry. I just started at school and went from there," she said.

"I enjoy being outside and working in the sun. It's hard work but being active all the time is really good."

 Lauren Cockburn (left) and Tiani Kirk.
Lauren Cockburn (left) and Tiani Kirk. Nev Madsen

Ms Cockburn's dedication and hard work has not gone unnoticed.

In 2012 she was a finalist for School-Based Apprentice of the Year and also won the Hutchinson's First Year Encouragement Award.

Her most recent achievement is being named the 2015 Master Builders Apprentice of the Year.

She said winning Apprentice of the Year was a complete shock.

"I was surprised, I really didn't think I would even be nominated," she said.

Hutchinson Builders site manager Geoff Kampf said Ms Cockburn had a strong work ethic.

"Lauren is just fantastic and her dedication to the job has earned her a lot of respect," he said.

"There is no doubt she will go far."


Qualified bricklayer Tiani Kirk is another woman who knows what it is like to work in a male-dominated environment.

Ms Kirk works for Southern Cross Bricklaying and has been part of the industry for 12 years.

She wants to encourage more women to become tradesmen.

"I like working with tools and you get a good pay check being a tradie," she said.

"I don't think the industry should be male-dominated.

"Any girl who's thinking about becoming a tradie should give it a shot."

Ms Kirk plans on expanding her skills by completing an electrician apprenticeship.

Topics:  awards hutchinson builders toowoomba tradies

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