Caitlin Vlahos is 25 years old and is in charge of maintenance at Riverina Stockfeeds in Casino.
As a student at Casino High School her interest in learning a trade came from doing Industrial Arts with an inspiring teacher, Chris Simpson.
“I wasn’t into hitting the books,” Caitlin said. “I like hands-on work.”
When she was 16 she did her apprenticeship at Sunshine Sugar.
“I was the first female apprentice that Sunshine Sugar hired,” Caitlin said.
Now a fitter and welder at Riverina she enjoys being her own boss and having the responsibilities of maintenance management.
“I’m well organised, I order parts and am the health and safety rep.”
For the first couple of years being a tradie apprentice was “pretty rough” and she had to prove herself – yet her apprenticeship turned out to be one of her “best times”.
Now when someone asks what she does she tells them, “I fix stuff.”
“People think it’s cool,” she said.
Caitlin would like to do an engineering course at university one day.
Her advice to other young women thinking about going into a trade is “Go for it, it’s rewarding”.
This article appeared in the Richmond River Independent, 10 March 2021.