The NSW Government is paving the way for more women and mature workers to take up trades, with a $57.4 million commitment over four years for a new Trades Skills Pathways Centre in the 2020-21 NSW Budget.
The Centre will work with registered training organisations to help experienced but unqualified trade workers to attain certification. It will also look into delivering trades training in a flexible way, which would be attractive for many women and mature workers who are often balancing work and family responsibilities.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said this is a critical step towards addressing a skills shortage in NSW and boosting the number of mature workers and women in trades.
“We’re determined to ease skills shortages across the State to power our economy, and women and mature workers play a vital role in that,” Mr Perrottet said.
“The traditional apprenticeship model is not for everyone. Many workers acquire these same skills on the job, without formal training. This Centre will assist these workers to fill knowledge gaps and earn a nationally recognised qualification.”
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said we are moving in the right direction to attract mature workers and women to trades, but there is more to be done.
“This will be a ground breaking NSW innovation that will go beyond traditional apprenticeships and traineeships to capture workers who may have missed the opportunity to obtain formal skills,” he said.
“There is a wealth of experience and potential on construction sites right across NSW that is currently going unnoticed. We want all those workers to reach their potential.”
Minister for Regional Youth and Women Bronnie Taylor said the program would boost the prospects of young workers and women in rural areas.
“The Centre will ensure that young people in our regions with invaluable hands-on experience will be guided through which transferable qualifications they need to open the door to even greater career opportunities,” said Mrs Taylor.