North Coast

Richmond Valley Council’s inaugural Try a Trade participants get fitted out for PPE by George Gooley Casino’s Mark Gill. Image: contributed

Richmond Valley Council wins NSW government grant to support local young women to take up a trade

Richmond Valley Council has won a $50,000 grant from the NSW Government to fund its ‘Try a Trade’ initiative, which gives work experience and a certification to regional women with aptitude for trades but who may not have the knowledge or confidence to start a career, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis has announced. “Try a Trade supports and promotes local young women taking up positions in male dominated workplaces. Council will run three ‘Try a Trade’ programs including Skillset training with White Card and safety equipment for groups of ten participants,” Mr Gulaptis said. Participants choose from typically male-dominated areas to work in including civil engineering, mechanics, road crews, surveying, asset management and maintenance, environment and related roles. Welcoming the funding, Richmond Valley Council General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said while delivering its unique, award-winning Youth Employment Strategy, Council had identified that many young women assumed trades were more suitable for men, or they did not have the skills or knowledge, when this was not the case at all. Mr Macdonald said Council wanted to break down this barrier by providing an opportunity to specifically encourage young women to increase their understanding and experience of what would be involved as a “tradie”. He said Council trialled a Try a Trade Week program in 2018 to encourage young local women to consider a taking on a trade with Council, or any other local business should the opportunity arise. He said the uptake to the trial was fantastic, which lead led to Council making the program an annual one. “The majority of our tradespeople are men, and while we have had some success in attracting some talented young women to trade work, we would like to build on this and encourage more,” Mr Macdonald said. Since 2013, the Nationals in NSW Government have provided more than $2.3 million to Investing in Women projects that support women. For more information, visit