15 May 2019

Labor will invest $12 million to help more women do an apprenticeship and build a career as a tradie.


Labor will invest $12 million to help more women do an apprenticeship and build a career as a tradie. 

Women should have safe and inclusive opportunities to become fully qualified and well-paid tradespeople. 

Many trades are still male dominated, but that doesn’t need to continue to be the norm. 

Women wanting to gain a trade in male dominated occupations face major barriers to finding quality trade apprenticeships.   

As little as 2 per cent of workers in well paid traditional trades including electrical, building, automotive and engineering are women. 

In 2019, we need to do better. 

A recent study of women in the automotive trades found that only half believed that men and women were treated equally at work. One in four women reported direct sexual harassment and over 40 per cent had been subjected to offensive language or behaviour at work because of their gender. 

To level the playing field, we need to change our approach.  

Under Labor’s program, group training organisations will recruit women who want to undertake a trade and link them with employers that are committed to making their workshops more diverse and inclusive. 

Experienced group training organisations will provide direct assistance to employers and apprentices to help break down the barriers faced by women. 

The program will operate under the guidance of Labor’s Apprenticeship Advocate who is charged with closing the apprenticeship gender gap and expanding the uptake of quality apprenticeships and traineeships across the labour market. 

Things like ensuring worksites have appropriate bathroom facilities, inclusive communal staff areas and providing advice on how to appropriately interact at work are easy to address but are often some of the biggest barriers to women taking up a trade and feeling comfortable at work.  

The program will include mentoring apprentices, organising peer support and working directly with employers to overcome bias and achieve more accepting and inclusive workplaces.  

The program will also provide opportunities for women to be placed workplaces to reduce isolation and to provide supportive environments.  

Workplace diversity is good for business. Smart companies know that and are already working to open up more opportunities for women in trades. 

Through this program Labor will support women who want to do a trade, lift their earning potential, improve the businesses they work in, and make our society fairer. 

Labor will invest over a billion dollars in rebuilding TAFE and boosting apprenticeships, including:  

  • 150,000 additional apprentice incentives – providing up to $8000 for employers and $2000 for apprentices. 
  • 100,000 TAFE places with no upfront fees. 
  • 10,000 pre-apprenticeship courses for at risk young people.  
  • 20,000 advanced entry adult apprenticeships to help workers retrain. 
  • $200 million to upgrade and expand TAFE facilities.  

End the cuts and chaos. Vote for change. Vote for Labor.   

Funding for this commitment has been included in Labor’s Fair Go Budget Planavailable at