Nov 17, 2020

Tradeswoman claims top ETU apprentice title

Tradeswoman claims top ETU apprentice title Hannah Watts is congratulated by ETU state secretary Peter Ong.

Queensland electrotechnology electrician Hannah Watts has been crowned the 2020 ETU Apprentice of the Year, from an all-female line-up of finalists.

The national award was presented to Ms Watts at the ETU QLD & NT Branch by state secretary Peter Ong. 

Ms Watts, who has recently completed her apprenticeship, was picked for her leadership qualities, dedication to the trade and to the union.

Ms Watts holds positions on the state council and executive for the ETU QLD & NT Branch and is the current president of the Ipswich sub-branch.

The ETU said she had continuously stood up for the rights of apprentices, her fellow workers and women throughout her apprenticeship.

As an apprentice delegate, the ETU said Ms Watts challenged her company and won the right for all apprentices on site to attend college instead of completing modules at work without the help of a teacher. 

She has also worked with other women in the ETU to form a Facebook group called the ‘Sparkettes’ for women in the electrical trades to support each other and have regular catch-ups. 

Ms Watts wants to encourage others to join the trade, especially women who are thinking about it. 

“It would be great to see more women on the tools. We’ve increased our numbers a lot even since I started so I want to tell other women sparkies that they’re not alone,” she said. 

2020 was a huge year for women in the awards, with all four finalists being female.

The three independent judges acknowledged the outstanding contribution female apprentices are making in electrical trades and remarked on the tough journey and adversity some of the applicants have overcome in their continued commitment to the electrical industry.