New graduates from CPB Contractors’ Women in Construction program

Thirteen more women have graduated from CPB Contractors’ paid three-week pre-employment Women in Construction training program, transitioning them to work on major state infrastructure programs and fast-tracking their careers in construction.

This is the third group of women to graduate from the program, with 18 graduating from the pilot program in NSW last year, and a further 12 graduating from the first program in Melbourne last month. All graduates have now been placed on CPB Contractors projects, while also completing their Certificate III in Civil Construction accreditation.

The 13 graduates of CPB Contractors' latest Women in Construction training program
Image: CPB Contractors.

Australia’s largest construction company, and a CIMIC Group company, CPB Contractors, received an extraordinary 500 applications for women-only, paid training programs this year. This is up from 200 in 2022, with many transitioning from sectors such as retail, hospitality, and travel.

Don Johnson, CPB Contractors Chief Operating Officer and Executive General Manager, NSW & ACT, Major Projects and Tunnelling said: “The need for more skilled workers is an industry-wide issue bigger than any one contractor and we are seeing a lot of success with training programs like this.

“CPB Contractors’ innovative Women in Construction program is removing common barriers for women interested in a career in construction, providing them financial security, job-ready skills and full-time employment, working on major projects and contributing to the future of our states.

Graduates have spent the past three weeks training across Western Sydney learning key construction skills including driving roller and dump trucks, working safely at heights, and first aid training.

“Women have traditionally been under-represented in the construction sector, this program is about changing that and delivering real jobs and real opportunities to more people,” Johnson said. “And as the demand for construction continues to grow, particularly with a focus on affordable housing and Australia’s transition to renewable energy, we need to provide clear pathways making a career in construction more accessible.”

Kim Gwilliam, a Western Sydney local, graduated from the pilot program in 2022. She has been working for CPB Contractors for the past 12 months and says it’s the best career decision she’s made.

“I was turning 40 and thought, ‘What can I do with my life?’ I was bored in my job, and I needed to do something different, something new,” Gwilliam said.

“I’m excited to be a part of building this important infrastructure – it’s going to help people. I would recommend any woman get into construction. I’ve had the best experience from the start to the finish and I’m very proud of myself.”

This article originally appeared on Earthmoving Equipment Magazine.

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