Above: TWA’s Managing Director, Fiona McDonald

Women completing school at the end of the year are being urged to consider trade apprenticeships or employment in the trades areas to take advantage of the Federal Government’s $2 billion training and skills push amid deepening unemployment.


Fiona McDonald, Managing Director of Tradeswomen Australia said, the investment commitment by the Federal Government provides a major opportunity to increase the number of female apprentices/trainees in the core trades of carpentry, automotive and electrical, which has remained at less than 2% for over twenty-five years.

“Currently given the large numbers of job losses which will impact on women’s employment, it is an important time for them to explore wider horizons for employment in the trades.

“It is important for young women to be encouraged by their parents and career teachers to explore the trades which can lead to life time skills, good wages and a range of progressive career opportunities.

“The other advantage of working within the trades area is that it can open up opportunities for women start and run their own businesses as a path to financial security.”

Ms McDonald, who trained as a motor mechanic, said “currently, one of the major challenges is overcoming the lack of knowledge at school level and with parents, that women have the potential and the ability to have successful, rewarding careers in the trades.”


Above: Apprentice receiving crucial support and skills to excel in their chosen trade


The National Skills Needs List (2019) lists 65 trades that are experiencing national skills shortages. Of those, 62 can be classed as male-dominated trades; only 3 could be classed as female-dominated.


Barriers to increasing the number of women employed in the trades have been identified as:

  1. Lack of information and engagement about trades with career advisors and females at secondary school
  2. Poor workplace culture and social misconception make trades unattractive as a career path
  3. No structural support systems for women working in male-dominated trade industries.


Tradeswomen Australia is a not for profit organisation dedicated to increasing the number of women to access, participate and succeed in the trades area.


Fiona McDonald available for comment on Zoom or phone.


Media Enquiries:

Ron Smith, Media Communications, Tradeswomen Australia – Mobile: 0417 329 201