Kaitlyn's keen to get into mining
FARM girl Kaitlyn Venton is not afraid of hard work.
She's grown up on her parents' farm so she's used to working with her hands - and she doesn't mind getting dirty.
Ms Venton, 22, is one of the many Mackay women who will attend the Women into Mining (Underground Coal) Information seminars today.
Registration has closed for the seminar, which will be held at the Azure Restaurant and Function Centre, Mackay Surf Club, from 9am to 1pm.
A seminar will also be held in Emerald tomorrow.
Women who are interested in starting a career in mining can receive information and ask questions from industry experts at the seminar.
Ms Venton said she had been thinking about joining the mining industry for some time.
"My partner works in the mines and I was gobsmacked when I saw how big some of the mines were.
"There will definitely be challenges to working in the mines... but I think I can do it. I'm sure I will adjust to the longer shifts.
"At the moment I only get to see my partner on the weekends, so if I was at the same mine as him I might get to see him more."
Ms Venton has worked for her parents' hatchery business and as a bank teller and she said her usual salary was around $32,000 a year. She has driven a delivery van for the family business and has considered a truck-driving job.
"The money will be an added bonus but it is not about that," she said.
"I want to try something different... women shouldn't be confined to offices."
Minister for Women Karen Struthers said it was the perfect time for women to move into the mining industry.
"The mining industry is looking for women to start in the underground mining industry; there are jobs waiting to be filled," Ms Struthers said.
"There are great opportunities and higher wages in the mining sector and women deserve to be a part of it.
"Under this program, at least 10 women will be given underground mining training and jobs through WDS Industry, working in mines in the Bowen Basin, earning over $80,000 per year.
"Sometimes women say to me they are intimidated by joining a male dominated industry. My response to them is the more women who sign up the less intimidating it will be."
The Women into Mining Information seminars are organised by mining companies BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and WDS Industry, in conjunction with the State Government's Women in Hard Hats program.