There’s a very exciting and growing trend in the workforce – women in trades, donning their PPE gear and joining the boys on site as builders, electricians, diesel mechanics, fitters and more! This excites us at BUSY At Work because we want to see the gender pay gap diminish and one way to accomplish that is for more women to enter fields where their pay-packets and rewards are on-par with the ‘blokes’.
According to national data from Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) Australian female construction apprentices have more than doubled in the last ten years. In December 2020, the number of female construction apprentices was 2,929, compared to 1,361 in 2010, an increase of 115 per cent. The overall number of women in construction roles increased by 34 per cent in five years, from 44,583 in 2015 to 59,587 in 2020.
Women still represent a fraction of the 1.2 million-strong construction workforce but it’s growing and at BUSY At Work we want to encourage that growth.
BUSY Sisters in Trades – You Grow Girl!
To support women entering the non-traditional workforce we recently launched our BUSY Sisters in Trades – a support service for women interested in trades and providing a network of like-minded females, access to mentoring with experienced ‘lady tradies’, information on career pathways through apprenticeships, and no-cost courses available to achieve your tradie dream and thrive in the workplace. Our motto: ‘You Grow Girl!”, as we encourage our sisters to reach for the stars – and the spanner, hammer, blowtorch or blow-dryer. You got this!
Find out more or register your interest: BUSY Sisters in Trades,
Skilling Women for Trades
Last year, as part of a BUSY At Work Skilling Queenslanders for Work course (fully funded for eligible job seekers), a full class of women joined our Women in Trucking course, completing a Certificate II in Automotive Pathways and a work experience component with local employers, including Brisbane City Council who took on 50% of the graduates.
Synthia Watt said “The course taught me the language for the industry, the tools of the trade and has given me confidence as I completed each stage of the assessments. As a result, I have been doing some work experience with a local employer and they have now offered me an apprenticeship with them in auto mechanics”.
All the graduates have different aspirations from the course, some wanting to go onto marine or heavy machinery mechanics and some considering relocating to areas like regional western Queensland.
Zoe O’Neill undertook work experience with Brisbane City Council straight after the course and stated “My goal is to move west of Roma in Queensland and pursue a heavy diesel machinery apprenticeship, working with tractors and trucks”.
BUSY also conducted a Women in Conservation course, offering landscape and horticultural skills, and various construction courses where female participants received a taster of work in the construction industry before moving onto apprenticeships with employers.
Find out more about Skilling Queenslanders for Work and upcoming courses.
Signing up Female Apprentices in Trades
As an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider, BUSY At Work is witnessing first hand the increase in women entering the non-traditional trades. Recently signing up 40 apprentices with Queensland company Hastings Deering, 6 of the newly signed apprentices were women looking to pursue trades such as diesel fitting and auto electrics.
One of the newly signed female apprentices from Mackay Queensland, Nadia Beyer said “I gained an interest in mechanics through working in the shed with my dad. This inspired me to complete a Certificate II in Process Plant Operations and I’m really keen now to start my apprenticeship in Diesel Fitting. My goal is to work myself higher up the chain”.
Like Nadia, Zoe, Synthia and many other female trailblazers before them, we’re excited for the future and envision a working world where women can achieve and be whoever they want to be!
So on International Women’s Day, to all our sisters we say: “You Grow Girl!”