The NSW Government has today released a landmark strategy to increase female participation in trades and encourage industry collaboration to enhance trade training opportunities for women.
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the Trades Pathways Program Women’s Strategy is a significant step in encouraging more women to fulfill careers within this sector and is part of the NSW Government’s $57.4 million Trade Pathways Program to be delivered over the next 4 years.
“Women currently make up only two per cent of qualified construction trade workers in Australia and this needs to change. We are working closely with industry to understand what steps can be taken to improve workplace culture and promote the contribution of women in trades throughout NSW,” Mr Lee said.
“The Women in Trades Strategy is looking at innovative ways to help grow the workforce including through the new Connecting Women to Trades Grants program where local community organisations are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $30,000 to help identify and support women in trades.
“We have already seen more than 4,000 women enrol in a free trades course as part of the NSW Government’s Built for Women Program launched earlier this year and the Strategy announced today will help build on this success.”
Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the strategy will help deliver a range of initiatives that will see greater participation from women in construction.
“This landmark strategy will encourage registered training organisations to work with industry, employers and women’s advocacy groups to enhance trade training opportunities for women,” Ms Taylor said.
Chief Executive of Australian construction company Roberts Co. Alison Mirams said the strategy aims to increase the appeal of trades, remove cultural and social barriers and support women through their training.
“I encourage other companies and employers to back the strategy, which will help create a fundamental shift in the way we look at growing our female workforce in the construction industry,” Ms Mirams said.
Ms Mirams is chair of the NSW Government’s Women in Trades Strategy Construction Leader’s Forum, where the strategy was discussed with key industry leaders, major contractors and training organisations including TAFE NSW, Multiplex, Richard Crookes, and Lendlease.
The Women in Trades Strategy builds on existing NSW Government initiatives including the Infrastructure Skills Legacy Program (ISLP), which has a target to double the number of women in trades and non-traditional roles on NSW Government infrastructure projects.