12/10/2021

With South Australia’s construction industry booming and hungry for additional apprentices, an all-female Try A Trade program is being held at TAFE SA’s Tonsley Campus to give participants the chance to explore trades traditionally dominated by males.

The program, run in consultation with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), will cover carpentry, tiling, painting and decorating and White Card activities over 4 days.

The Try A Trade program also enables participants, who are from high schools involved in the doorways2construction Vocational Education and Training (VET) program, to familiarise themselves with TAFE SA facilities and learn more about training opportunities.

Premier Steven Marshall said it’s a great opportunity for young women to try out some skills that are highly sought after in SA.

“There is huge demand for qualified workers from companies looking to take full advantage of the opportunities on offer, so it’s a fantastic time to be considering a career in building and construction.”

Minister for Education John Gardner commended the CITB and TAFE SA for their work in encouraging more women into the construction industry.

“The fastest growing job areas in our economy require employees with technical qualifications, and we are reforming VET for school students to improve quality and better align student pathways with future careers,” said Minister Gardner.

“It’s fantastic to see these young women explore their career options in a field they perhaps haven’t previously considered at the Try a Trade program at TAFE SA’s Tonsley campus.”

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said South Australia is leading the nation in apprentice and trainee growth, including female participation.

“The latest National Centre for Vocational Education Research figures show that South Australia increased the number of female apprentices and trainees by 25.8 per cent in the last year alone,” said Minister Pisoni.

“The female unemployment rate recently hit 4.4 per cent, the best it has been in 13 years, as more women enter into non-traditional jobs.”

TAFE SA Chief Executive David Coltman said the training provider is pleased to be working with the CITB to offer the Try A Trade program.

“Try A Trade is an interactive way for students to find out more about the industry and get an idea of the skills involved,” Mr Coltman said.

“We’re seeing a growing interest from females in traditionally male-dominated fields, and we’d like to encourage more to consider a trades career.

“Our aim is to increase the number of female apprentices and trainees to ensure there is a diverse and well-trained workforce for the state’s current and future jobs.”

The CITB runs Try A Trade sessions as part of its flagship schools doorways2construction program, which gives students opportunities to learn new skills, use tools and equipment, and speak with professional tradespeople.

A record $26 million has been invested by the CITB this financial year into its Annual Training Plan, including more than $1.2 million for its schools program.

“The doorways2construction initiative is designed to attract students into the construction industry, where they can build meaningful careers in everything from carpentry and tiling to painting and plumbing,” CITB Presiding Officer Maree Wauchope said.

“This year our Try a Trade program has been expanded to include a female stream, offering a schedule of training for young women interested in trades. This is an important initiative in partnership with government and industry to ensure we are doing all we can to secure the next generation of apprentices.”

This first all-female Try A Trade program reinforces TAFE SA’s support for women in non-traditional trades and coincides with the start of a new marketing campaign designed to grow participation in pre-apprenticeship (Certificate II) trades courses.

The marketing campaign will include a digital and social media focus on female heroes – TAFE SA graduates working in industry.

TAFE SA’s pre-apprenticeship course, Certificate II in Construction Pathways, currently has 53 female students, an increase of 1.3% on the previous year.

Overall, there are 756 female students currently enrolled in courses at TAFE SA’s Tonsley Campus, which provides world-class trades training infrastructure for the building and construction industry.

The top 5 courses for female participation at Tonsley are the Diploma of Interior Design, Certificate IV in Interior Decoration, Diploma of Building Design, Certificate IV in Building Design Drafting and Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician.

Sourced from the Premier of South Australia’s website: Female students encouraged to explore trades