27 November 2020
Tradeswomen Australia Community Foundation Launch Wyndham Employment Project for Vulnerable Women and Girls
The Tradeswomen Australia Community Foundation, established to assist vulnerable women gain employment in the trades, today announced that it had committed to establishing a special project in the City of Wyndham.
Advertising for staff has commenced and project is scheduled to start in January 2021.
The Tradeswomen Australia Community Foundation, launched earlier this year, will have Susan Alberti AC, as Patron. Ms Alberti is one of the most important voices on women’s issues in Australia, and is also Patron of Tradeswomen Australia.
Janet Cribbes, Chair of Tradeswomen Australia Community Foundation, said the organisation is developing a program to support State, Federal and Local Government projects to increase training and employment opportunities for vulnerable and at-risk women to transition to financial and life security through career, education and other pathways.
Ms Cribbes said the recent announcement by the Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, of the Victorian Government’s $5.2 billion funding for social housing should underpin vital increased trade opportunities for women in the trades.
“The lack of representation of women apprentices/trainees in the non-traditional trades, especially in the core trades of carpentry, electrical and plumbing, has remained less than 2% for over twenty-five years.
“The Wyndham project will provide assistance to vulnerable women and girls leaving school and needing advice and practical help to obtain an apprenticeship.
Susan Alberti AC, Patron of Tradeswomen Australia Community Foundation said, “Work within the trades is well paid with trade qualifications and skills providing opportunities for a career path, and in many cases becomes the foundation for women to start their own business creating local economic activity and economic security for women.
“Getting a start in the trades for girls or women can provide a rewarding career and importantly financial security in retirement,” Ms Alberti said.
“The drive to increase the number of women in the trades is already being picked up by progressive companies, education and training organisations and Governments, who are designating that a number of women be employed as part of construction contracts,” Ms Cribbes said.
“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it is also vital to nationally address the issue of domestic violence and workplace bullying as part of the strategy to increase the employment of women in the trades, to enable Australia as a nation overcome the national skills crisis.”
Barriers to increasing the number of women employed in the trades have been identified as:
- Lack of information and engagement about trades with career advisors and secondary school girls
- Poor workplace culture and social misconception make trades unattractive as a career path
- No structural support systems for women working in male-dominated trade industries.
Ms Cribbes said discussions with career teachers have also found that many parents are against their daughters taking up a trade because of the perceived bullying or sexual harassment they may face in the workplace.
The strength of the program is built on the close links of Tradeswomen Australia and the Tradeswomen Australia Community Foundation which provides a seamless, connected path to a coordinated program including:
- Structured and ongoing mentoring of women actively engaged in trade roles within the industry sectors through collaborative support of employers and industry to increase retention and facilitate ongoing employment within the industry.
- Resilience training and career pathway education for female youth disengaged or at risk of being disengaged from high schools.
Ron Smith, Media Communications, Tradeswomen Australia Community Foundation
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