AT WITS END: Letitca Fletcher has applied for some 1800 jobs this year without success and doesn't know what else she can do to get back into the workforce.
AT WITS END: Letitca Fletcher has applied for some 1800 jobs this year without success and doesn't know what else she can do to get back into the workforce. Chris Ison ROK150816cjobs1

Female trucky can't find work

LETITCA Fletcher has filled out 1800 job applications in the last six months.

She's applied for jobs she's qualified in, jobs she's willing to be trained in and has even applied for jobs being offered in her field in New Zealand and Dubai.

But since she resigned from her previous job, which she had been employed in for six years, due to health complications, it's been knock back after knock back which has started to make the Gracemere mother-of-one think the reason she is unemployable is because she is a woman who has qualifications in a "man's field".

Letitca, 26, was a heavy haulage driver for Pacific National but a car accident last year left her needing an emergency hysterectomy and resulted in health complications which made her resign from her position in February.

"I applied for jobs pretty much the next day," she said.

"I was thinking with my experience and qualifications I'd be able to get myself better and get back into work. I've applied through employment agencies, sent 1800 applications and have gotten nothing back. I'm looking in the mining, rail, trucking industry as that's what I'm qualified in but I've even applied for trainee roles, casual jobs and jobs in New South Wales, New Zealand and Dubai. I just want to get back to work, I'll do anything that can get me off Centrelink. My family have had to move back in with my parents because we couldn't afford to stay in our house.

"I'm the primary earner as my husband is a stay-at-home dad but after six months of being unemployed, it's started to affect my family. How much more can you do without it getting depressing."

Letitca has started to think the reason she is getting knocked back is because she is a female in what she calls "a male orientated industry".

"I get the feeling males are preferred over females," she said.

"I applied recently for a trainee job in rail and my husband also applied for the job. My husband got through to the next round and I got an unsuccessful email and I'm a qualified train driver. The responses I've been getting is "not qualified enough" which I don't understand because I've got all of my tickets.

"If they aren't willing to take on women than how many women are going to be out of the job. I'm willing to learn new things and complete training but it's starting to feel like that doesn't matter.

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said she hoped discrimination wasn't the cause of Letitca's declines in employment.

"Without knowing specific details of her skills I would be very disappointed if there was any discrimination against anyone, be it on gender, race, ethnicity etc when applying for a job," Mrs Lauga said.

"If she considers there is specific bias against her then I would encourage her to visit or call my office and see if we can help."

The Morning Bulletin also contacted Aurizon yesterday to ask what their policy was on equality in the workplace.

An Aurizon spokesperson said the company was an equal opportunity employer and "actively promoted gender diversity as part of its recruitment practices".

"In the past six years we have increased the percentage of women in our workforce by 50 per cent."



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