More girls needed to study in trades

OFFERING trades ‘taster’ programs and allowing students to complete qualifications in construction while still at school, are two suggestions which may help boost the number of females entering the traditionally male-dominated workforce.

According to the Building Commission NSW Women in Construction report, less than half of small to medium building companies employ less than five per cent women and 35 per cent don’t have any at all.
Research also revealed one in two women employed in the industry, report sexual harassment at work and 71 per cent had experienced gender discrimination.
However among female bricklayers – who only make up one per cent of the brickie workforce, Granville TAFE student Timara Messer is leading the way.
The stage 3 bricklaying apprentice hopes to finish her studies at the end of the year and said she has been really enjoying the work.
Being a labourer for four years before taking up bricklaying, she says she is as fit as any male and probably stronger too.
“I would definitely recommend other women give it a go,” she said, adding that she’d never experienced any kind of discrimination.
“It’s a lot of fun and pays well so why not.”
Her Granville TAFE teacher Glen Edwards couldn’t agree more.
“Timara is just as capable as the males in the class, possibly even more so,” he said.
“She pays great attention to detail and is highly motivated and willing; studying a trade would benefit many young women.”
Housing Industry Association (HIA) Executive Director, Compliance and Workplace Relations, Melissa Adler said that while the number of women in the construction industry is still lower than they would like, the numbers are rising steadily.