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From bleach to bricks: Apprentice Monique reaches great heights

First-year bricklaying apprentice Monique Juratovac recently claimed gold at this year’s Perth Regional WorldSkills Competition.

Held at the annual SkillsWest Careers Expo at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Monique outbuilt twelve other competitors to claim the prestigious title for the Perth south region.

The competition assessed participants accuracy and ability to work under pressure as they were required to follow a detailed building plan within a set timeframe.

Monique is one of only a handful of female competitors to have participated in the WorldSkills WA bricklaying competition in the history of the event and the first female in the state to win first place.

What made Monique’s achievement even more notable was that most of her competitors were in their second or even third year of their apprenticeships.

Monique originally completed a hairdressing apprenticeship before deciding to switch trades. She undertook a bricklaying and blocklaying pre-apprenticeship at the Thornlie campus and fell in love with the profession instantly.

“When I graduated from my hairdressing apprenticeship, though I loved the creativity and diversity of work, I couldn’t help feel something was missing from my career,” Monique said.

“I had always felt a pull towards the construction industry; I was looking for a career that provided a challenge, was team-focussed and outdoors.

“Bricklaying ticks all of the boxes. I’m loving my chosen trade so far and looking forward to working in my profession for many years to come, and perhaps one day supervising a team of my own.”

SM TAFE Managing Director Terry Durant said Monique was a much deserving winner and fantastic example of the plethora of training opportunities available to students at TAFE.

“It’s rewarding to see students like Monique change training pathways, especially into traditionally male-dominated trades such as those in the construction industry,” Ms Durant said.

“Successes such as Monique’s demonstrate to young women that their career choices are endless and achievable.

“Building and construction is one of the biggest industries in the state offering our students a range of exciting employment opportunities. It’s pleasing through apprentices like Monique we are able to inject both talent and diversity into this ever-growing industry.”

We continue to foster strong training relationships with industry partners and employers who take our apprentices on board.

Monique is currently employed by the ABN Group where she specialises in new builds for the (family) home market. 

Monique will be presented with her gold medal at a WorldSkills WA breakfast this November at which point the WorldSkills state team (Team WA) will be announced. If Monique makes it through to the national competition she will be the first female bricklayer in Australia to do so.

Page last updated November 14, 2019