The Andrews Labor Government’s $64 million State Netball and Hockey Centre (SNHC) redevelopment will provide the platform for a pilot program to increase the number of women working in construction.
Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula this week inspected progress at the SNHC site and saw first-hand advances being made in addressing the gender imbalance common across the building sector.
Half of contractor Kane Constructions’ eight project staff are female, as are three of four staff from Development Victoria’s SNHC project team.
Kane Constructions has pledged to maximise female participation on the project while encouraging subcontractors to do the same. Plumbing company Cooke and Dowsett has jumped on board, recently appointing North Melbourne AFLW player Jasmine Garner as an apprentice to work on the site.
Women account for just 17 per cent of construction jobs, and less than 6 per cent of technical and trade roles.
Under the Kane Constructions SNHC pilot program a call will be made to Victorian women and girls, including the thousands who play at the State Netball and Hockey Centre at Royal Park each week, to consider a career in construction.
The program will incorporate information sessions on pathways to a career in construction, highlight role models for young women in the industry such as Ms Garner and develop other strategies to break down barriers.
Importantly, the pilot will measure results with this information able to be used to set goals for future projects.