As the Palaszczuk Government continues to boost confidence in Queensland’s construction industry, it is looking for the best ways to build the number of women in hard hats.
Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said more than 200,000 jobs had been created in Queensland since the Palaszczuk Government was elected in 2015.
“That’s because we invest in infrastructure including almost $13 billion in the current budget supporting 40,500 jobs across Queensland,” he said.
“That capital program includes investment in social housing which has so far supported 1,400 jobs across Queensland.
“And we’ve built confidence in the construction industry with $656 million worth of contracts with Project Bank Accounts.
“This ensures tradies get paid on time, in full, every time and boosts confidence in an industry that employs 230,000 people across the state.
“We want women to be able to take advantage of jobs in the construction industry just like anyone else.”
Minister for Women and Member for Bulimba Di Farmer said there were a lot of young, ambitious women keen to join a dynamic work environment such as the construction industry provides and they should have the same access to these well-paid, highly rewarding career paths.
“We know that a diverse workforce allows the best talent to rise to the top, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, cultural background or beliefs.
“Around 15 per cent of apprentices in QBuild are female and one in four of the 16,000 young people who applied for a place in the Manufacturing Industry Group Apprenticeship Scheme last financial year were female.
“To retain this emerging talent in the workforce, we’ve got to make working environments more accessible, to do better than 2.4 per cent female participation in our state’s construction industry.
“This will be a huge step forward in for greater gender equality across Queensland workforces and I am pleased to be able to announce it today, the International Day of the Girl.”
Mr de Brenni said a new Palaszczuk Government pilot project in Cannon Hill would be looking for the best ways to build female participation in construction, saying that it would provide avenues for governments and industry to retain more female tradies in construction.
“We want to do better that the 11 per cent target set by the National Association of Women In Construction and we’ll work with them on that.
“What we learn on this project will inform future projects.
“Our Buy Queensland procurement processes give us the flexibility to select contractors for building projects based on price and non-price criteria, and our intention is to use this to boost the number of female apprentices, tradies and professionals working on select social housing projects.”
National Association of Women in Construction Queensland President Jen Gillett applauded the initiative saying it would set the standard for gender equality on building sites across the state’s robust $46 billion construction industry.
“Women are starting to make inroads in many formerly male-dominated workplaces now prioritising female recruitment, but we still have a way to go to build a critical mass of women in front line construction roles.
“We’ve got to keep building on some of the recent positive trends we are seeing – Construction Skills Queensland for example reports that the number of female apprentices in the construction trades has doubled over the past decade.
“We would like to show small and larger employers that a flexible approach to working conditions is an efficient and profitable solution and that women can deliver the productivity dividends employers are seeking.”
Mr de Brenni said early works would soon be underway, with construction of 20 new social housing units to start later this year.