This direction action by the NSW Government is a political policy benchmark which should be introduced nationally.
Tradeswomen Australia today welcomed the NSW Government’s major initiative to boost the female representation in the trades with 3000 training places for women in the construction, manufacturing, engineering, transport and logistics area.
Fiona McDonald, Managing Director of Tradeswomen Australia said with the lack of women engaged in the trades, at below 2% in some major trades, when there are skills shortages, the direct action by the NSW Government is a political policy benchmark.
“Currently, whilst there is increasing recognition to address this issue at Government, industry and business level, the reform is moving too slowly.
“Public support for Government and Industries across Australia moving to address the lack of women in the trades should be part of an ongoing public and community discussion.” ‘The Built For Women’ program is providing a clear financial commitment from the NSW Government which is linked into the $107 billion Government Infrastructure program.
Ms McDonald said currently the National Skills Needs List (2019) lists 65 trades that are experiencing national skills shortages. Of those, 62 can be classed as male-dominated trades; only 3 could be classed as female-dominated.
“Introducing Gender Equity policies, such as the NSW Government’s ‘Built For Women’ program, provides pathways into trade apprenticeships for women and could see them, once qualified, earning up to $80 to $90 an hour. For many women and their families, this would be life changing.
“It would also provide political parties with a focus on the role women can play in overcoming the skills shortages in Australia whilst progressing Gender Equity in Government Policies and expenditure. “The COVID recovery provides Government’s with an important opportunity to announce policies and actions on increasing employment of women in the trades,” Ms McDonald said.