The ACT Government has launched a new initiative designed to improve the gender balance in traditionally male-dominated industries and encourage more women to consider taking up a trade.

The Women in Trades Program Fund aims to boost the number of women starting an apprenticeship in trades like building, plumbing, automotive, engineering and electro-technology in Canberra, which have been dominated by men for years.

Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, Meegan Fitzharris, said, “This is a great program that’s all about creating more jobs and bringing more diversity to a range of industries here in Canberra.

“In the last ten years, the number of women seeking apprenticeships in trade areas like carpentry and plumbing has stagnated around one per cent. Obviously women have the capacity to do these jobs, so I’d love to see this improve.

“Boosting the number of women starting an apprenticeship in the trades isn’t just about fostering gender equality – it’s about strengthening these industries by widening and diversifying their talent pool, and understanding the best practices for recruiting and retaining women in trades.

“Providing this funding delivers on an election commitment that is good for people, good for business, and good for the ACT economy.”

Applications are now open for the Women in Trades Grants Program.

Grant funding will be available on a competitive basis to support highly targeted projects that contribute to achieving positive outcomes for women seeking to enter trades.  

Approximately $500,000 will be available to eligible organisations over three years.

Applicants will be encouraged to match funds. 

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