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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 May 2017) . . Page.. 1453 ..


women looking for a career in the trades. In particular, trades such as carpentry, painting and decorating, wall and floor tiling, electrical, horticulture and cabinet making all present great opportunities for women who wish to pursue a career in the industry.

Our challenge, though, is to raise awareness of these opportunities and help break down community perceptions that women are not suited to these roles. That is why, during the last campaign, Labor committed $1 million in new funding over four years to support outreach programs to get more women into male-dominated trades. The government will work with industry, unions and other training experts to design these programs. I was thrilled yesterday to meet Lucy Costa, a 21-year-old third-year apprentice cabinetmaker at Designcraft, with Ms Cody, to announce that these will be funded in next month’s budget.

I should also point out that the building and construction industry has already made a start in attracting more women to take up a trade in their industry. The Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Authority provides additional support to employers to encourage the employment of women in the trades. The authority has a website dedicated to tradeswomen in the industry, with a wide range of resource materials available. We are excited about continuing to build on and support this work.

MR STEEL: Minister, what measures are being taken to improve access to training for mature age workers?

MS FITZHARRIS: The 2016 Australian Human Rights Commission report entitled Willing to Work—a national inquiry into employment discrimination—noted that older Australians faced difficulties in accessing the training system. The ACT government recognises the employment challenges mature age workers often face. That is why our active ageing plan supports mature age workers by ensuring they enjoy the same opportunities for recruitment, employment and training as their younger colleagues.

I have already outlined new measures that the government will take to encourage more women in trades, but we are also committed to supporting mature age workers who often need assistance in accessing training places as well. Providing the ACT community with access to training places helps them re-skill for new opportunities and adjust to changing labour market conditions. This is good for employees and employers and is an important driver of productivity in our economy.

Part of the $1 million funding commitment that the government has made to getting more women into traditional trades will be allocated also to help raise awareness among mature age workers of the training opportunities on offer here in the ACT. The funding will give us the ability to conduct outreach to this part of our community and support older workers who wish to re-skill into new careers or to up-skill into new jobs.

In addition to this new funding to be delivered in next month’s budget, the government is taking action now to improve training opportunities for mature age


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