More women training in plumbing


KIT plumbing trainers and Year 3 apprentices posing after their practical in the plumbing workshop.

KIT supports equal gender representation across all of its courses. This includes encouraging women to participate in non-traditional trades if they wish to. In 2022, KIT saw a particular increase in women’s participation in the Plumbing certificate courses.

The KIT plumbing qualification consists of Certificate II in Plumbing, Certificate II in Metal Roofing and Cladding and Certificate II in Water Skill Set.

Every year the Plumbing course receives 18 students each, capped at this rate for the safety of students in the workshop during practical. In 2022, 16 students enrolled in the course of which seven (44%) were female and nine were male.

In past years, these courses have seen a majority of male participants. However, there was a much higher percentage of female students training in plumbing in 2022 for the first time. This marks a major success for I-Kiribati women training in the trade.

Third year plumbing students during their practical session in the plumbing workshop.

‘If men can do it, so can women’ said Tiontaake Kaitu, a third-year plumbing student.

The inclusion of women training in plumbing is shifting the awareness at KIT of how women can contribute in the community and in the workforce. Leading the gender representation in plumbing are KIT’s female plumbing trainers.

According to Tetarae Inatio, Lecturer and Team Leader for Plumbing, the increase in women interested in this course hasn’t happened accidentally. KIT has encouraged female students to enrol in the course and promoted their participation. This has been supported by employing qualified female trainers to deliver the training who then become local role models in representing gender equality in trade.

Tetarae Inatio asked Tiontaake, a Year Three in Plumbing student, about what really inspires her to study plumbing. Tiontaake said, “Plumbing is a skill that you keep and use for life”.

KIT looks forward to welcoming new cohorts of male and female students into the Plumbing course and other non-traditional trades in 2023!

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