The NSW Minister for Women, Pru Goward, will today name five young women taking the first steps towards a career in construction with John Holland as part of their new ‘Women in Trades’ initiative.
“The establishment of the Women in Trades program shows John Holland’s commitment to supporting a workforce that is diverse and embraces equality for all,” said the Minister.
“I am certain that the girls who participate in this initiative will be empowered and find the information useful towards their aspirations to enter the construction industry.
“It is wonderful to see that John Holland recognises the importance of increasing the participation of women in non traditional trades. I hope many other companies follow this lead.”
The girls range from 15 to 18 years of age and are from a variety of schools in the south west of Sydney – from Picton to Liverpool areas. John Holland’s Executive General Manager for Infrastructure, Chris Evans, said they are working with Women NSW and Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen (SALT) on the program, as a way to encourage women to take up entry level apprenticeships and traineeships in non-traditional trades with the business.
“Diversity is critical to our business and John Holland is constantly looking for new ways to attract women into our workforce,” Mr Evans said.
“The objective of this initiative is to encourage women to look at non-traditional trades that they may not otherwise consider. Our gender strategy is based on attracting, developing and retaining women within our business. The average female employee participation rates in construction are 11.8%, we are proud to note that John Holland’s participation rate at June 2013 is 15.6%.”
“We take on apprentices each year, across various fields from carpentry to electrical. It would be great to see more and more women in these roles.”
SALT’s Fi Shewring said the ‘Women in Trades’ program has strong synergies with their own efforts to encourage young women to consider construction as a career option. “We’re passionate about increasing the acceptance of women working in non-traditional trades,” Ms Shewring said. “We welcome the efforts by companies like John Holland to demonstrate that a trade is a career option for anyone.”
The program involves 6 units from the Certificate II in Construction Pathways. Participants will undertake 5 days classroom training and 1 day per fortnight work experience at the Moorebank Unitsn Relocation (MUR) worksite at Holsworthy Army Barracks. Successful participants may be offered ongoing employment in John Holland’s apprenticeship program.
Women NSW is developing strategies to encourage women and girls to undertake and complete training in non-traditional trades and to maintain employment as a tradesperson into the future.