2 April 2018

Funding to boost female tradie numbers in Canberra

| Glynis Quinlan
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Second-year electrical apprentice Leilani McGurgan from the ACT Property Group at work. Photo: Supplied.

With the numbers of women starting in trades stagnating, the ACT Government has launched a funding initiative designed to improve the gender balance in these traditionally male-dominated industries.

Half a million dollars has been allocated to the Women in Trades Program Fund which aims to boost the number of women starting an apprenticeship in trades like building, plumbing, automotive, engineering and electro-technology in Canberra.

“This is a great program that’s all about creating more jobs and bringing more diversity to a range of industries here in Canberra,” said ACT Training Minister Meegan Fitzharris.

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

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

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

Applications are now open for the Women in Trades Grants Program and close at 4 pm on April 17.

Grant funding will be available on a competitive basis to support highly targeted projects that contribute to achieving positive outcomes for women seeking to enter trades.

Ms Fitzharris said that around $500,000 will be available to eligible organisations over three years and applicants are encouraged to match the funds received.

Organisations seeking funding can click here for more information about the grants program, information sessions and the application process.

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Capital Retro9:06 pm 03 Apr 18

I would be receptive if I could get a female tradie who could also make me a good cup of tea just like my mother used to make me.

Everytime I get a (male) tradie in they want a cuppa and some bickies which I have to provide.

Ghettosmurf871:31 pm 04 Apr 18

I’m sure you think you’re being funny, but it’s exactly these kind of ridiculous jokes and attitudes (as espoused in many of your posts across this site) that undermine equality in the workplace and society as a whole.

The “joking” expectation that women tradies are welcome if they can make you a cuppa like your mum, when no such expectation is held for the male tradies is just another extension of the expectation that the wife will look after the kids, do the cleaning, cooking etc.

It’s absolute tripe from men who would rather enforce that expectation than roll up their sleeves and do that sort of work themselves.

Capital Retro5:24 pm 04 Apr 18

I was being fair-dinkum actually but if it gave you a laugh that’s good.

As it turns out, I do most of the cooking and some of the heavier cleaning. I also do most of the home maintenance with the exception of plumbing and electrical work which requires licensed tradespersons (notice I didn’t say tradesmen).

It’s perhaps all academic anyhow as I have just read new data which indicates the annual trend for building approvals in the ACT is now -61.8% (highest in Australia) so appears the market has tanked and all those new jobs won’t be created after all.

“In the last 10 years, the number of women seeking apprenticeships in trade areas like carpentry and plumbing has stagnated around one per cent”
What is the One percent? is that based on total numbers or percent of something. What is the percent of something based on. Is one percent actually significant? What did the male numbers do in that same timespan? Given the shift from small housing to commercial apartments as the main mode of housing, smaller local trades are being replaced by larger experienced firms from Sydney.
How is it even calculated?

Perhaps they should make it harder for women to get unskilled jobs so they go into more skilled work more easily?
Most unskilled retail staff are female, as they are hired over male employees. The reasons males go into skilled work is because they are hired less frequently for retail employment.

Blen_Carmichael12:39 pm 02 Apr 18

I don’t oppose moves like this, but there is a hypocrisy that favours women over men in so-called ‘positive discrimination’ measures. Back in 2004, Katy Gallagher rejected the federal government’s plan to offer male-only teaching scholarships. Her reason? “Women should have equal access.” Never mind the lack of male teachers in schools to the detriment of students – especially boys.


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