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The 2020-21 state budget includes significant funding for infrastructure, including social infrastructure for hospitals and schools. Investing in our infrastructure in health and education sectors is beneficial for women, who make up the majority of workers in these sectors.
Increased funding towards traineeships and apprenticeships is another positive. The budget includes funding for 750 new traineeships and apprenticeships in government agencies and funded projects.
Young women are experiencing high levels of unemployment and underemployment. Women are more likely to be precariously employed, and direct funding towards traineeships and apprenticeships will help young people and women to gain secure work.
It is essential that the new infrastructure jobs and apprenticeships are equally distributed. The infrastructure push will lead to more jobs in construction and other traditionally male-dominated sectors. The government must develop a strategy to ensure that a greater proportion of those jobs go to women.
Working Women’s Centre Director Abbey Kendall said:
‘Let’s make sure that women as well as men are wearing hi-vis on these new big construction sites. Let’s make sure that women have an equal chance at a cyber-security traineeship as they do in the disability and aged care sector. It will require a targeted government strategy to avoid women being left behind in what could be a bloke-heavy infrastructure push.’
‘Likewise, the government needs a strategy for ensuring that an equal share of these new apprenticeships are going to young women. Jobs created through the funding boost for our national parks and reserves should go to First Nations people, young people and women in regional areas who are experiencing particularly high rates of unemployment. This is the time to reimagine the way we work.’
Working Women’s Centre Youth Project Officer Maddie Sarre said:
‘We’re hearing from so many young women that they are struggling to find secure work at the moment. The majority of them are open to starting a new career. This infrastructure and training push is the perfect opportunity to make sure young women have better access to tradie jobs.’
Abbey Kendall, Director & Maddie Sarre, Youth Project Officer