CPIT opens door to tradeswomen

CPIT opens door to tradeswomen

CPIT is encouraging more women to consider a career in trades, announcing new scholarships and adding a new Top Female Trades student award at the annual Trades Innovation Institute (TII) celebration of achievement in trades training night on 5 November.

“I am pleased to announce our new package of Women in Trades scholarships that will help women to retrain for a career in trades,” CPIT CE Kay Giles said.

“Working closely with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, we are developing a strategy that makes trades training more accessible for women and generates awareness of the many opportunities for women in the construction industry, particularly here in Christchurch. More women participating in Canterbury’s recovery will help women whose circumstances may have changed post-earthquake, as well as their families and our regional economy.”

The scholarships are available to all women who are New Zealand citizens enrolling in a trades programme at CPIT. Applications are open until 29 November and allow for between $1,500 and $2,400 of value in fees.


Joy Lalahi is the first recipient of CPIT's Top Female Trades Student award. Photos from the event available on request.

Inaugural Top Female Trades award winner Joy Lalahi could not be happier with her decision to pursue electrical trades at CPIT. Joy, who trained through CPIT’s Pasifika Trades Training scheme, had no trouble finding an apprenticeship and is working at the University of Canterbury with a team of eight electricians.

“There is a huge variety of things to do. I am enjoying the fact that I am learning heaps and the people are awesome,” she said.

Prior to her electrical training Joy had worked in customer service, tutoring English and as a flight attendant. As a single mother of two boys, retraining required commitment and organisation but it was also very rewarding. Joy has been invited to speak at CPIT to share her experiences and inspire other women. “It is challenging, but it’s having that purpose. It’s empowering to know you can do it.”

Her qualification will open doors around the world. “With a kiwi qualification – they want you all over the world.”

The award recognises top academic marks, practical skills, determination, a positive attitude and initiating group study outside of classroom.