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The Number of Females in Construction has Doubled as More Women Put Their Hands to Trade

The term ‘Tradie’ no longer just refers to a ‘Tradesman’ or male in construction, whilst the women of Australia are taking the industry by storm as the amount of female construction apprentices has more than doubled between 2010 and 2020.

Particularly in the civil constructions and electric works, as the sectors reporting the most fruitful growth in female participation.

This influx of female workers creates a huge advantage for the trade industry, since a skilled worker shortage is an impending concern as businesseshave been finding it difficult to employ staff with their specific required skills.

Thousands of Australian women are at the forefront of a contemporary revolution of the trade industry that has traditionally been male-dominant.

National data from Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) reveal Australian female construction apprentices has more than doubled in the last ten years.

As of December 2020, the number of female apprentices in construction was 2,929, in comparison to 1,361 in 2010, a huge increase of 115%

The overall roles in construction taken up by women has risen by 34% in five years, from 44,583 in 2015 to 59,587 in 2020.

Traditionally, to have a female ‘on-site’ has been a rare occurrence as few and far between. Whereas now more than ever it is much more commonplace to see a female tradie standing up to the role.

CSQ Research Director Robert Sobyrastated that electricians and civil construction workers had seen a particular increase of a female presence.

"We've still got a long way to go … But this is a real trend that has been going on for 10 years," MrSobyra said.

"We don't think that is going to change, we think we are on the right track."

MrSobyra said the CSQ had observed an early exposure to trades in schools has resulted in a much more open perception for women to the trade industry, rather than ruling it out as a male-dominated career path.

"These days in schools, females and males are treated equally in terms of the career paths they are exposed to," he said.

The trade and construction sector creates more than $360 billion in profits and produces approximately 9% of Australia's Gross Domestic Product, according to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC).

Warren Hale, from the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, stated that apprentices of all genders were at an increasingly high demand across the country and would be for years to come.

"There's actually been an increase of 52 per cent of Australian apprentices, in comparison to the same period last year," he said.

"Electricians and carpenters — more women have been going into those roles."

The job security in construction and trade is attractive to both men and women, as Covid-19 has highlighted the unfortunate fragility of other industries. Therefore, it is predicted that this increase of female presence within the industry will continue, with the male presence at a steady incline alike.

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