25 September 2023

Building the case for women in trades

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The Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate (CMTEDD) has unveiled a new program to encourage women in the ACT to take up a trade.

The Women in Trades Program Fund aims to boost the number of women starting an apprenticeship in areas such as building, plumbing, automotive, engineering and electro-technology in Canberra — trades that have been dominated by men for years.

Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, Meegan Fitzharris said the Program’s aim was to create more jobs and bringing more diversity to a range of industries.

“In the last 10 years the number of women seeking apprenticeships in trade areas like carpentry and plumbing has stagnated at around 1 per cent,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“Obviously, women have the capacity to do these jobs, so I’d love to see this improve.”

She said boosting the number of women starting an apprenticeship in the trades isn’t just about fostering gender equality; it’s also about strengthening these industries by widening and diversifying their talent pool, and understanding the best practices for recruiting and retaining women in trades.

Ms Fitzharris said the funding would deliver a program that was good for people, good for business, and good for the ACT economy.

She said applications were now open for the Program with around $500,000 available to eligible organisations over three years and applicants encouraged to match the funds.

Applications will be received until 17 April and more information about the Program can be accessed at the CMTEDD website at this PS News link.

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