By Steph McNicol
A FUTURE in managing building sites is on the cards for Lancefield woman Emma Prendergast while she nears the completion of her certificate three in civil construction, as one of the only females in her class.
The 22-year-old said she would complete the course in mid-July at Construction Training International in Riddells Creek, after finishing the course ahead of time.
Having faced many bumps in the road to her success, including breaking her neck playing football when she was 18, Ms Prendergast said there was no limit to what she wanted to achieve.
“My mum has always told me I can do anything a man can do, and never to rely on a man. The only person holding you back is yourself,” she said.
“You are your greatest weakness. Why should any male or female be able to tell you what you can and can’t do?
“It’s not a man’s world out there, as much as people say it is, and there are females up and coming in every trade.”
The student has had experience in carpentry, landscaping and plumbing, and said she knew no limit to how many trades she could work in.
Ms Prendergast said people in her class were welcoming of her interests in the industry.
“The preconceived idea I had going into the course compared to what it actually was, were two totally different things,” she said.
“There are ways around the difficulties and asking for help isn’t the worst thing. They’re more willing to give you a chance if you are proactive and ask for help with something you can’t necessarily do.
“You have to be willing to give anything a crack, there’s no judgement.
“A lot of females think they’re stuck to a certain job, but I can’t stand behind a desk and serve people with a smile my whole life.”
Ms Prendergast said she would have a short break before beginning her next educational venture – a diploma in building construction.
“I have about a three-day break between completing a course and starting a new one,” she laughed.
“I did the certificate three because I wanted to a job in site management, and on union sites you need certain qualifications for unloading things, working near powerlines, being a spotter, and it’s rare someone on site has the competency.”
Ms Prendergast said she dreamed of starting her own business.
“Being someone who wants to get into management, I want to manage sites first and get my foot in the door that way, and then I can start my own business one day,” she said.
“I like getting physically involved and achieving something every day, and I think it’s definitely one of my biggest positive traits – I do my best where I can.”