More women are set to build a better future
IT'S no longer a man's world in construction with women advancing through the ranks, says project engineer Rebecca Gilding.
The Cairns resident has earned one of 141 State Government scholarships encouraging women to undertake study in a traditionally male-dominated field.
"Working in a male-dominated industry is not as big a deal as it was," the 25-year-old said.
"The project manager on this job is actually female and it's quite common these days. I think men are quite accepting of it."
Miss Gilding will study an associate degree in construction via distance education with the University of Southern Queensland which starts next month.
"In this climate, it's good to give yourself as much knowledge as you can," she said.
"I was really interested in studying anyway and when I saw this scholarship I thought I'd give it a go."
This will mean four years of part-time external study while working full-time in her role as an engineer for Matrix construction.
"When I finished high school I did design drafting for a while, drawing houses and things like that," she said.
"But in the downturn there was no work in the industry and I found myself working in reception for a construction company."
Miss Gilding hopes the degree will help gain a position in management.
"The major is management. I love the project side of the things but this opens the doors for the management side," she said.
Of the 141 scholarship offers, Education and Training Minister John-Paul Langbroek said nine were awarded for building services qualifications, eight in geology, 27 in architecture, 62 in engineering, 14 in information technology and two in other resource-related fields.
"Scholarship recipients will receive up to $5000 per year for the length of their qualification," he said.
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Bright future: Rebecca Gilding has won a scholarship to study an associate degree in construction, through the University of Southern Queensland. Picture: STEWART McLEAN