For Bunbury mother of two Natasha Cowcher, being awarded a position in Western Power’s $50,000 regional TAFE scholarship program has opened the door to a career she thought had closed years ago.
Mrs Cowcher jumped at the opportunity to be part of the program helping people in the Bunbury, Albany, Kalgoorlie and Geraldton regions pursue a career in WA’s energy future through a pre-apprenticeship course offered at institutes like South Regional TAFE.
“I did what a lot of my friends did and landed in admin straight out of school which was comfortable but not what I really wanted to do. The world has changed since I left school with more opportunities for women to get a trade, which was traditionally for men, and I want to be a part of it,” Mrs Cowcher said.
“When I saw the Western Power TAFE scholarships offered I thought here is my opportunity to get on with what I really want to do professionally. Especially for my children, because if I can’t follow my dream then how will I encourage them to do the same?”
South Regional TAFE managing director Duncan Anderson said the scholarships were a very generous commitment by Western Power and the college is privileged to have the opportunity to work alongside the organisation to advocate entry into the electrical trade.
“The students receiving scholarships are on a sound footing to a fantastic career and the funds have encouraged a wonderful diversity of students to apply,” Mr Anderson said.
“By progressing through their pre-apprenticeship course into an apprenticeship and then as qualified tradespeople, they can expect opportunities to work in building and construction, industrial, commercial or domestic areas, or even in mining,” he said.
Western Power community engagement manager Margot Hammond explained the scholarships cover the tuition and resources fees for Certificate II in Electrotechnology.
“We’re excited to be partnering in this initiative, which supports people who are passionate about pursuing a career in the state’s electricity future,” said Ms Hammond.
The six Bunbury students received their scholarships from Mr Anderson at a ceremony on Friday, August 11.