Aliesha Stapley of Grafton has completed a Certificate II in Construction and has a job in the construction industry.
Aliesha Stapley of Grafton has completed a Certificate II in Construction and has a job in the construction industry. Adam Hourigan

Aliesha's digging her way to the top

SITTING atop a mound of dirt working an excavator, Aliesha Stapley says she has gained confidence, skills, a sense of accomplishment and a new job from her TAFE NSW Civil Construction course.

Just don't mention the roller.

"That thing is my enemy; it was the only thing I found difficult. The paperwork I could fly through but the roller and I disagreed with each other. It was very temperamental," she said.

"When I finished (the course) I felt really proud of myself. I had managed to master the excavator and got the confidence to approach businesses myself which is something I never would have done in the past.

"The machinery was fun and the team-based learning was really great because I wasn't just doing it by myself; I was part of a team.

"I had no prior experience in the industry and I was unsure of myself but my trainers were great and really helped me to have the confidence to be able to complete the course."

Aliesha, who is based in Grafton, completed her Certificate III in Civil Construction at the TAFE NSW Trenayr training site and has since secured a job as a traffic controller starting next Friday at Robina Town Centre with Brisbane-based company Get Directed Traffic Control.

"I start on Friday and work 10 days straight in the lead up to Christmas so it will definitely be a good introduction to the industry," she said.

"I always wanted an outdoor job but I also knew I wanted to do something that would make a difference. I knew there was a lot of scope in the civil industry so I decided to give it a go," she said.

Civil construction is a typically male dominated industry however Aliesha is quick to point out more and more women are entering the industry.

"I think a woman can bring just as much to the industry as any man.

"I've heard people say women drivers are in demand as they are easier on the machinery and they don't tend to break as much. I hope so because this is my career and I hope to be in it for the next 10 to 15 years at least," she said.

And her advice to other women looking at getting into the industry is simple.

"Don't be afraid. A lot of women are giving it a go and everyone is really nice and encouraging. If you want to do it, do it!" she said.

Alicia is part of the number of civil construction students securing work as part of the 500 jobs in 500 days campaign initiative launched on June 3, 2016 with the aim to place 500 qualified, job-ready TAFE NSW students into jobs in the Civil Construction and related industries within 500 days.

TAFE NSW offers industry-based training to meet the specific demands of the Civil Construction and Resources sectors for practical, vocational training programs in the Northern NSW region and beyond.

Through its partnerships with TEAM Training involving recognised industry based trainers on live working sites, and the Job Active and Apprenticeship services, TAFE NSW graduates are well and truly work-ready.

TAFE NSW is now enrolling for 2017 courses. For more information on TAFE NSW Civil Construction courses contact our Civil Construction team on 1300 799 251 or view courses and current civil construction jobs online at

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