The Women in Civil Construction Initiative will directly address the skills required for entry to the civil infrastructure sector of the industry. The Civil Contractors Federation (CCF), in collaboration with their funding partners Construction Skills Queensland, is delivering a flexible based program designed to deliver the entry level skills required to participants who wish to pursue a career in the Civil infrastructure sector. The WIC program is already underway within Queensland.
The Civil Contractors Federation Qld has moved mountains over the past 12 months targeting Initiatives that will assist Members with staff resource shortages. We are coming to an end of the Doorways-2-Civil Construction School Initiative with an expected 60 school leaver age participants from all regions in Queensland who are job ready and eager to enter our Industry via a Cert 111 Apprenticeship / Traineeship. We have identified another major untapped resource in the communities across Queensland -WOMEN!
We have developed and implemented a Program where we will raise the profile of women working in the Civil Construction Industry. This Program will encourage women to pursue and establish careers within the civil construction sector, it will provide females participants with an awareness of issues relating to our industry.
Our Industry requires that all new entrants to the industry must be 'job ready' with a range of pre-employment skills which this Initiative will deliver; all entrants will complete the Certificate 1 in Resources & Infrastructure Operations including two weeks of Structured Workplace Learning where employers actually get to see future employees in action before they have the opportunity to hire them!
All participants have completed a rigorous interview process with entry level strategies targeting women who have left the workforce to start a family, long term unemployed and women who have a genuine interest in our Industry. The Program will provide opportunities for participants to gain employment through the Civil Contractors Federation network of employer members.
In Queensland, there are 13,053 Apprentices / Trainees across all sectors of the Construction Industry, of that, there are 188 females registered which is a total of 1.42% of the industry. It would be quite obvious to any Employer that there is a major Resource here to take pressure off our skills shortages. One of the key advantages of employing women in these male dominated roles in our Industry, is that males have a pattern of 'that's the way we have always done it' attitude, having more women fill roles in the civil sector challenges that mindset and enable employers to look at things differently.
Females have the opportunity to work on plant - certainly there is sufficient evidence that enormous savings will be incurred just from the maintenance area, women tend to look after their machines as well as some employers suggesting that females actually are more accurate on scrapers! Travelling around some Major Civil sites recently, I am pleased to say that there certainly has been an acceptance by many Employers to engage women within their workforces; many have roles in HR, site engineers, environmental and Project Managers.
Unfortunately there is still an attitude in our Industry that Operator type roles are a 'man's job', which off course is not entirely true, right across all sectors of the construction Industry, companies are introducing technological improvements to compensate for the lack of labour where using machinery is less physically demanding and more skilled, our Industry is becoming more high-tech, rather than just Heavy, this allows employers the opportunity to employ females in many new areas of the Civil Construction area, women already play an ever increasing role in the administrative and engineering roles, let's give them opportunities out there on Plant, this is where it happens, the coal face!
It is up to Employers to give these women encouragement as plant operators as they would do for any male driver, our Program has 6 females who hold Plant licenses and are ready for Industry at the completion of the Cert 1, as a previous employer, I would only see this as a huge opportunity to bring staff into any business! I would encourage any Member to contact us as in 6 weeks time we will have 14 females ready to enter our Industry!