Grant applications for Women in Construction program now open

A government funding program designed to attract more women into the construction industry has opened for a second round.

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The Minns Labor Government has today opened the grant funding applications for the second round of Women in Construction Industry Innovation Program.

Construction continues to be one of the most male-dominated industries in Australia, with 12% representation of women across the sector and only 2% in trade roles.

The Industry Innovation Program supports a range of industry-led initiatives across the state to increase the number of women working in construction, improve workplace culture, create inclusive and safe work environments, and to empower women in leadership roles.

The twenty-one funding recipients under Year 1 of the Program, lead initiatives ranging from education opportunities for women entering the industry via mentoring, work experience programs and opportunity showcases and site visits for school-based students – to training for established workforces, with the introduction of training to influence existing workplace behaviours to develop respectful and safe cultures on site.

Initiatives also included embedding flexible work practices and providing a variety of child-care support mechanisms for parents and carers, which helps to address the obstacles that prevent women from considering a career in construction.

An example of a funded initiative comes from the Infrastructure Sustainability Council who lead the program, “Sustainability: a credible construction career path.” This program aims to attract women to the industry and empower inclusive work practices through the development of a skills framework, creation of educational resources for organisations and the delivery of a mentoring program for NSW construction businesses.

The Industry Innovation Program is being delivered as part of the NSW Government’s $20.2 million Women in Construction Program.

For information on how to apply for grant funding, please visit the NSW Government Industry Innovation Program Year 2 grants page.

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Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education Steve Whan said:

“The demand for construction workers continues to be high across the state. As we continue to deliver infrastructure projects it is paramount we increase the proportion of women in construction to improve industry diversity and productivity.

“Increasing the participation of women in construction is not about meeting quotas; it is about cultivating a skilled, versatile and experienced workforce.

“Empowering more women to choose a career in construction will lead to greater innovation, diversity, and progress, ultimately building a stronger and more inclusive future for the industry.

The Minns Labor Government is wholeheartedly committed to encouraging more women in the construction industry.

Minister for Women, Minister for Seniors, and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison said:

“Our commitment to increasing participation of women in trades and non-traditional roles is unwavering. Through the Women in Construction program, we are actively working to empower women to consider a career in the construction industry through education and skills development.

“The future of our trades industry lies in embracing the diversity and capabilities of all workers. The Industry Innovation Program aims to engage the industry in creating a safe, inclusive and dynamic workforce that welcomes and supports women in all trade roles.

“Closing the gender gap in construction can lead to improved performance, enhanced innovation and ensures sustainable growth.

“By working with industry stakeholders, we can unleash the full potential of women in this industry and build a strong and diverse future.”

Infrastructure Sustainability Council Chief Executive Officer, Ainsley Simpson said:

"The NSW Government's commitment of more than $20 million to increase the number of women working in construction shows the important steps the industry is taking towards a more gender-balanced workplace.

“Thanks to the Industry Innovation Program funding, the Infrastructure Sustainability Council is playing a part in breaking down cultural barriers that may prevent women from considering careers in this field.

“The implementation of a skills framework and creation of resources will help companies throughout the industry to engage and attract women into construction roles.”

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