Female carpenter shows that women belong in trades

Casey Holt has just completed her Carpentry Apprenticeship with AGA host employer Casello, working on the prestigious 308 Exhibition Street twin towers project in Melbourne. Casey has more than earned her stripes in a male-dominated industry.

Casey says she “tried a few traditional female careers like retail and hairdressing”, but knew her passion was to be a carpenter. When a friend told her about AGAs many apprenticeship options, she jumped at the chance to apply.

Four years on, not only has Casey now completed her apprenticeship, but she has shown that a career in the trades is just as satisfying for women as it has long been for men.

Casey loves being a chippie and says she is so happy she followed her dream. “I love it so much. It’s different every day, you have interactions with different trades and you’re always learning,” she said.

It wasn’t always easy. There was resistance from a small number of male colleagues early on but Casey’s determination and work ethic proved her mettle. “Like everyone, you have to earn your stripes. Some people hated that I was here,” she said. “Giving up wasn’t an option, I just did what I had to do and earned the respect and the trust from everyone that works around me.”

Casello Construction Manager Jon Dawson says Casey is their first female carpentry apprentice. “We put Casey on at the beginning of her apprenticeship, she’s been with us since day one and has been a valuable asset to our team. The initiative and drive that Casey has is really something to be admired,” he said.

AGA Field Officer Rob Paladino says Casey is one of AGAs brightest success stories and has proved that pursuing a non-traditional trade is a great a career choice for women. “Casey’s attitude and commitment are evident to all around her. I’ve supported Casey throughout her apprenticeship and it’s no surprise to me that she’s made such a big impression on her co-workers at Casello.”