30 August 2022
Tradeswomen Australia Group today called for those at the Jobs and Skills Summit to draw from the experience and practical action recently taken by the Victorian Government, to address gender inequity in the national labour market.
Kit McMahon, Deputy Chair of Tradeswomen Australia said Tradeswomen Australia welcomed the attention that the Jobs and Skills Summit is putting on the lack of equity in our labour force and skills development pipeline.
“There is clearly wide recognition that immediate action is needed.”
Ms McMahon said “We ask the participants at the National Jobs and Skills Summit to look to the practical action taken by agencies such as the Victorian Skills Authority to address gender inequity. The Plan includes deliberate goals and actions to create equity and can be a model to scale up across industries in Australia.”
“We congratulate the Victorian Government and the Victorian Skills Authority on the release of The VICTORIAN SKILLS PLAN and including a specific action around gender equity – it is an important call to action for every Australian State Government and the Business Community of what action is required to address skills shortages and increase productivity.”
Ms McMahon said the Victorian Government’s Skills Plan recognises the systemic and structural barriers that are in place to stop the participation of women and girls in our labour force and the vital role of well-resourced and planned skills systems to break down barriers which include:
A: Lack of information and engagement about the trades with career advisors and secondary school girls.
B: Poor workplace culture and social misconception make trades unattractive as a career path.
C: Lack of structure support systems for women working in male-dominated trade industries.
“As the Jobs and Skills Summit seeks to address skills shortages and looks to further investment in training, delegates really need to agree on strategic solutions like the VSA Skills Plan – recognise how current approaches embed inequity and, that change can occur by addressing systemic and structural gender inequality.
“Without doing this, the skills shortages will continue, and we will continue to have skilled workers, and those that want to work, that are left out of the labour market,” Ms McMahon said.
“As we recognise “Unequal Pay Day” – yet again – and as we continue to see the ongoing reality of our gender disaggregated workforce we need to deliberately target gender inequity like the Victorian Skills Authority has done and other organisations are doing through government policy and design such as the Building Equity Policy and Gender Equality Act.”
“We will be looking for these types of reforms to come out of the Summit”, Ms McMahon added.
Ron Smith OAM, Media Communications, Tradeswomen Australia
Mobile: 0417 329 201
Kit McMahon, Deputy Chair, Tradeswomen Australia is available for comment.