ACT school program to encourage girls into building and construction

The ACT Government has committed $1 million to the Understanding Building and Construction Program for early learning about the building and construction industry in schools – to boost women’s participation in the construction industry.

The program will be piloted in 4 ACT high schools with learning modules for students in years 7-10 about the building and construction industry and its current gender imbalance. Girls in early high school will be provided information on a clear career pathway, particularly vocational pathway, to enter the building and construction industry and will bring women from the industry into schools to talk about work experience and mentorship opportunities.

“The ‘Understanding Building and Construction Program’ has been designed to break down the barriers preventing young women and gender diverse students from joining traditionally male-dominated industries and encourage Canberra’s students to follow their passion into a fulfilling future, irrespective of gender,” said Minister for Women Yvette Berry.

“I’d like to congratulate the 4-pilot participating high schools running this ground-breaking program – Alfred Deakin High School, Calwell High School, Harrison Public School and Mt Stromlo High School.”

Increasing women’s participation in the construction industry and other traditionally male-dominated industries is a key focus of the ACT Women’s Plan 2016-26. This work also aligns with the Future of Education Strategy in partnering with industry to bring real-life learning into the classroom and take learning into the broader community. Through the Second Action Plan 2020-22 of the ACT Women’s Plan, Equity Together the ACT Government has committed to a target for 10 per cent female employment in the construction industry in the ACT.

The program is being part-funded by a Partnership Grant from the National Careers Institute and the ACT Government. The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) will be a key industry partner and provide industry mentors and work experience placement opportunities through its members.

The pilot schools will commence delivery of the curriculum in Semester 2.

Quote attributable to Peter Radford, Principal, Mount Stromlo High School

“We want to ensure our students understand they have limitless pathways and options for their futures. It is especially important to encourage our female students to pursue their own personal passion and skills, even into traditionally male dominated careers, without barriers. This is why are proud to be 1 of the 4 pilot schools participating in the Understanding Building and Construction program. It will be very beneficial for our students to understand that the construction industry can be a place for everyone to build their own amazing futures.”

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