20 October 2020
Managing Director of Tradeswomen Australia, Fiona McDonald, today welcomed the Victorian Government’s removal of bans on non-essential outdoor home maintenance and renovations, which provides the economic lifeblood for thousands of small trade businesses.
Ms McDonald said many of these businesses are sole traders working in local areas depending on small renovations or maintenance for their work and economic survival.
“The provision of up to five tradies being allowed on the site in a COVID safe manner, means that jobs of a reasonable size can continue to proceed.
“The increase in work also means extra business opportunities for suppliers, and importantly, stability for apprentices who have had their apprenticeships put on hold,” Ms McDonald said.
Suncorp Bank, which examined the amount Australians have invested in renovation projects, found homeowners are spending $63,188 on average to spruce up their properties. In Victoria, $71,067 was the average cost of renovations in the Suncorp Bank September Report. *1
“Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show in Victoria, women’s full-time unemployment rate is 8.7 per cent, far higher than men at 6.1 per cent, and that in current job losses, women are losing their jobs at a rate 5 to 1 when compared to men.”
“The COVID-19 recovery ‘shovel ready’ projects provide a substantial opportunity for Federal and State Governments to address and promote the employment of tradeswomen and careers in the trades to schools.”
Ms McDonald said the Federal Government’s budget announcement provides a major opportunity to increase the number of women apprentices / trainees in the core trades of carpentry, automotive and electrical, which has remained at less than 2% for over twenty-five years.
The economic benefits of employing women should not be overlooked with the Grattan Institute in 2012 finding that if there was an extra 6% of women in the workforce, we could add up to $25 billion, or approximately 1%, to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product. * ²
* 1 Suncorp Bank Lending Data 28 September 2020 ‘The true cost of the average home renovation revealed’
* ² Towards 2025 An Australian Government Strategy to Boost Women’s Workforce Participation
Ron Smith, Media Communications, Tradeswomen Australia – Mobile: 0417 329 201