Renee heard from a lot of people that steel fixing was a hard job, so she probably wouldn’t like it. She sure has proved them wrong and is absolutely loving her steel fixing traineeship with IPR on the Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct Stage 2 (SQCP-S2) project, delivered by Managing Contractor John Holland.

“Whenever I tell people that I’m a steel fixer, they think I’m joking and are so surprised when they realise that I am serious!”, Renee said.

Renee knew she wanted to do something in construction, as she loves working with her hands and doesn’t mind getting dirty in the process. She had been working at her family’s Brisbane air conditioning and electrical business from when she was 16 up until COVID slowed things down, and she needed to find other work.

Renee was looking for work through a job agency when they advised her about Construction Skills Queensland’s Trade Ready program. Trade Ready provides additional skills and experiences for people with some entry level experience to increase their job readiness and prepare them to transition into a building and construction career.

After completing two weeks of construction course work with DGT Employment and Training and three weeks of paid work placement with IPR and AXIS Plumbing onsite, Renee secured her new job and future career.

Of her choosing steel fixing Renee said, “I like working with my hands, so I wanted a job that encompassed that. Steel fixing is hard work… But if you like it like I do, then get into it and don’t be afraid”, Renee said.

Through the Trade Ready program, Renee was able to get her Manual Handling, First Aid, Working at Heights, and Confined Spaces tickets, which helped to broaden her job prospects at the end of the program. Renee credits the Trade Ready trainer Nick, who was a great support throughout the program and was great in helping everyone in the course get accustomed to interacting with other people on site, with assisting her in securing the right role.

As for what’s next for 22-year-old Renee, she’s only just started her traineeship which will go for three years, so she wants to knuckle down to focus on that and then perhaps step up to a Leading Hand when she finishes.

To find out more about CSQ’s Trade Start Program, click here.