Built for Women program to expand the trades talent pool

Business NSW Central Coast says a new State Government initiative to support women entering trades will help expand the region’s talent pool for those businesses seeking young workers.

“Skills shortages in manufacturing, construction and engineering continue to plague business on the Central Coast with 30 per cent of businesses reporting skills shortages in the March Business NSW Business Conditions Survey,” Regional Director, Paula Martin, said.

“A focus to increase the proportion of women in trades expands the local talent pool for businesses seeking young workers and helps those hardest hit through the pandemic transition into new careers.

“COVID-19 affected young workers aged between 15 and 24 the most with this cohort finding it more difficult to find new jobs.

“The timing is right for a career in trades, especially for young women who have had their employment affected by ongoing restrictions in tourism, hospitality and events.

“A career in trades may offer lifelong skills and the opportunity to start a business.

“The Central Coast is home to nearly 4,000 small businesses in manufacturing and construction and thanks to our proximity to Sydney and Newcastle the demand for services in these sectors exceeds supply.

The Government is set to support 3,000 training places for women in trades to help boost female representation in construction, manufacturing, engineering, transport and logistics.

The fee-free Built For Women training program will target women aged 16-24, female jobseekers, women at risk of unemployment and women in receipt of Commonwealth benefits.

Women currently represent 8.9 per cent of all current learners in trades and just 2.1 per cent of all learners studying a trade in the building and construction industry.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, Geoff Lee, said the program would help boost numbers of women working on building sites.

“The Built For Women program is about attracting women to rewarding careers in trades industries that are experiencing skills shortages,” Lee said.

For more information visit education.nsw.gov.au/skills-nsw/built-for-women or call 132 811.

Terry Collins