17 July 2023

Forging ahead: South Coast schoolgirl lands training gong as welding shapes career

| Claire Sams
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woman in pink tradesperson shirt

Jasmin Brunette is 17 and already winning awards for her work as a welder and fabricator. Photo: #NSWtrainingawards.

A week of work experience during school put Jasmin Brunette’s life on a pathway to pick up a trade – and she’s already receiving awards.

Jasmin is completing an apprenticeship at Acora Reneco while studying a Certificate III in Mechanical Engineering at TAFE NSW.

All this means the 17-year-old is currently working as a welder and fabricator one day a week while she completes her HSC in Eden.

“I’ve learnt I need to keep an even balance between the two,” she said.

“It’s just a matter of keeping in touch with my teachers and catching up whenever I have the time.”

Her workday starts when she reports for duty at 7 am.

“At Acora, we mainly focus on doing sawmill equipment in the forestry industry for Tasmania, New Zealand, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales,” she said.

“It’s something different every day.

“I get the day started and weld and fabricate things together.”

READ ALSO Crookwell woman in the pink after being named top non-traditional apprentice

At her young age, Jasmin is already being recognised for her work.

She was recently named the School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year in the 2023 NSW Training Awards for the Illawarra and South East NSW Region.

“When I did welding for a week for work experience, I thought this was an awesome trade – it’s so fun and I love doing it,” Jasmin said.

“Since I was a kid, I’ve loved making things and doing practical stuff.

“I’m so proud of myself and everyone that’s helped me get through to this point of winning.”

The win means Jasmin is a contender in the upcoming statewide awards, and then potentially the national awards in Tasmania.

She is working on a flower to present to the judges.

“You don’t have to bring anything, but I want to show them what I can do, show them something that I can build,” she said.

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Jasmin has been the only female on the floor at her workplace, but two other young women are set to join.

“There are another two females starting soon and one of them is my best friend,” she said.

“She did a bit of a trial a few months ago, and then she moved back to her home town.

“She’s going to give it a full-on crack, which is awesome.”

Jasmin has simple advice for any other young woman thinking about entering a trade: just do it.

“If there’s any girl that wants to do it, they should just go for it,” she said.

“It’s the best thing to do.”

Jasmin is planning to continue welding when she finishes her apprenticeship, with plans to potentially work underwater.

“I love diving and it is a side hobby of mine since we live right on the waterfront,” she said.

“It would be an awesome thing to mix the two if I could.”

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