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New NSW program to boost number of women in construction

New NSW program to boost number of women in construction

The NSW Government has released the Industry Innovation Program in a bid to triple the number of women working on construction sites across the state.

With a goal to reach a more gender-balanced industry in the future, Treasurer Matt Kean said the Government was working with industry to achieve a target of 15 per cent women on work sites by 2030.

“This $10 million grant program will support industry-led initiatives to break down the barriers stopping women from considering a career in construction,” Mr Kean said. “We’re inviting eligible organisations to apply for grants of up to $300,000 to deliver projects that ensure these workplaces are safe, flexible and inclusive.”

“And today we’re also launching a dedicated website for women and girls interested in learning more about the industry.”

The Industry Innovation Program will support initiatives that increase and retain women working in the construction industry including creating inclusive workplace cultures, by improving employee wellbeing and supporting flexible working arrangements; increasing the number of women entering and staying in the industry; and supporting female leadership and employees.

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Minister for Infrastructure Rob Stokes said the industry was facing unique challenges that made now the perfect time to push for more women in construction.

“The NSW Government’s record $112.7 billion infrastructure pipeline combined with a skills shortage means construction companies are crying out for more workers, so it’s crazy that the industry is effectively off-limits to half our population,” Mr Stokes said.

“This grant program will support innovative solutions that encourage women to work in construction, such as more careers support initiatives, education programs in schools to change gender stereotypes and gender bias training.”

The Industry Innovation Program will be hosted on the NSW Government’s Women in Construction website, which launched on 14 December 2022 and will be a one-stop-shop for women and girls interested in learning more about the industry.

Minister for Metropolitan Roads and Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the funding was an important step towards achieving the 15 per cent women in construction target.

“This program is aimed at breaking down stereotypes in construction, making it a safer, more inclusive and healthier workplace,” Mrs Ward said.

“Providing more opportunities for women in construction will increase diversity across the industry and improve productivity.”

Infrastructure NSW is committed to continued engagement with stakeholders, building on the work already done by contractors, sub-contractors, industry associations and trade unions. Funding will also be used to advance skills, training, communication and engagement initiatives.

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