Women taking up the tools breaks records

The number of women joining the construction workforce has hit a new record, with Queensland leading the country in enrolments for female construction apprentices.

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research has released data that found Queensland recorded the highest ever number of females enrolling in a construction trade apprenticeship in any state in Australia.

It also found the total number of female construction apprentices in the state was higher than at any other point, with 1048 women currently in-training.

At this new rate, the percentage of female construction apprentices in-training in Queensland has more than doubled from around 1.5 per cent in 2010, to more than four per cent of all apprentices. This is higher than the national average of just over 3 per cent.

Construction Skills Queensland CEO Brett Schimming said the significant bump in female recruits to the industry was an encouraging milestone on an upward trend.

“The representation of women in the construction industry has been on the increase for the last decade, albeit at a very slow pace,” Schimming said.

“Our last Women in Construction report showed that the numbers of women in construction roles now account for around 15 per cent of the industry, but that narrows to just 5 per cent when we focus on trade roles,” he said.

“Key to increasing women in trades is encouraging more female school students and young people to consider a trade apprenticeship.

Schimming said the increase in female apprentices echoes an overall increase in all construction apprentices in-training.

“There has been an enthusiastic response to the Federal Government’s apprentice incentives that were released quite early on following the onset of the pandemic, and have since been extended.

“These incentives have made it cheaper than ever for employers to put on and keep apprentices.

“With building and construction activity also at record highs, it has been a perfectly timed stimulus that will benefit thousands of newcomers to the industry,” he said.