(Bendigo TAFE electrical teacher Alex Hopkin)
Reflecting on her journey, Alex said embarking on a trades career was something she discovered by chance.
“With six months to go in my nursing degree, I decided that university was no longer the path I wanted to travel down,” she said.
“While trying to decide my next steps, I looked into the courses that TAFE had to offer. There were a lot of courses I knew were not for me and then I found myself on the apprenticeship pages and from that moment decided I wanted to go into a trade.”
Currently employed as an electrician in the same company that supported her first work experience, Alex said working in and teaching the trade has meant the best of both worlds.
“As an educator at Bendigo TAFE, I love seeing my students succeed in their learning and knowing that I’ve been able to help them do it,” Alex said.
“At the same time, I also love working as an electrician. I love having a job that keeps me moving and thinking about my next step in the process instead of just going through the motions. I also enjoy the challenge of working out the reason for a fault and resolving the issue.”
Alex currently teaches 10 female apprentices within her classes and says there are many opportunities for women thinking of entering the trade.
“When I was leaving school, women in trades was not something that was overly discussed or considered. There weren’t many female electrical apprentices during my time,” she said.
“Now there are so many programs and initiatives where women can test the waters in multiple industries, and I find that a great step forward.”