Australia’s construction industry faces a critical shortage of trained workers unless employers embrace female trades apprentices, an Adelaide industry forum has heard
SA Minister for Education, Training & Skills, Blair Boyer, joined more than 100 employers, apprentices, job seekers, students and industry experts on Tuesday 6 June for a Women in Trades panel discussion at one of Australia’s leading learning organisations, PEER.
"Unless we do things differently…the task of meeting the skills shortage is impossible. We have to do things differently", Minister Boyer told the forum.
Women In Trades promotes trade pathways for women, the benefits of earning while learning during an apprenticeship, and positive outcomes which flow from diverse, inclusive workplaces.
CEO of the Construction Industry Training Board, Holly Willcox, told the audience that “a girl should be two things: who and what she wants.
"Improving gender diversity in the building and construction industry relies on breaking down negative perceptions that belong in the past".
Despite ongoing skills shortages, only 2% of construction-related trades are filled by women. As the demand for skilled tradespeople increases, employers need to broaden the pool of talent they draw upon to keep pace.
As Australia’s largest and only national Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP), MEGT provides a Career Hub service to bring together employers and candidates, and a team of expert mentors to offer ongoing help during the apprenticeship.
Panel member Mel Davis’, head of programs at ‘Empowered Women in Trades’ which has helped more than 2,500 clients in the construction industry, said women needed role models in trades to help break down negative and outdated stereotypes.
"Trades aren’t for every bloke, and they aren’t for every woman either. But you can’t be what you can’t see", she said.
Watch the full video below