She's a new chip off an old block

SIXTEEN-year-old Hannah Bloomfield did not think that being a girl would prevent her from getting her dream job. She was wrong.

Hannah, of Lismore, has spent the past year looking for a school-based apprenticeship in cabinet making, a skill in which she's proven she is more than capable. Despite awards for excellence under her tool-belt, employers were still hesitant to take on the Kadina High School student.

Indeed, they openly admitted that it was because she was a girl.

“I was turned down by a couple of businesses for so-called occupational health and safety reasons as the jobs involved lifting heavy objects,” Hannah said.

Instead she decided to search for work experience, which she eventually arranged with a local firm.

On her first day, the employer had to leave with the foreman.

No Doubt's song, Just a Girl - fitting for Hannah's case

“The foreman told me that he didn't have the facilities available for a girl and therefore my work experience was terminated,” Hannah said.

“I felt annoyed and cheated; It was really unfair.”

With much persistence, Hannah landed work experience with another Lismore business.

“It was great to finally get a taste of the industry after seeing all my male friends getting similar work experience so easily,” Hannah said.

Currently in Year 11, Hannah is determined to get her dream job once she completes her Higher School Certificate.

“Woodwork will continue to be my favourite subject and my teacher has always encouraged girls to get involved,” she said.

Hannah knows securing an apprenticeship won't be easy.

She sees two main stumbling blocks: Firstly the fact that she's a girl and, secondly, the shortage of wood technology apprenticeships in the area.

But, the plucky teen is determined to prove the industry wrong and ensure her skills overcome her gender.



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