MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (15:08): Every Victorian should have the chance to get a job that they want, no matter their background, identity or gender. That is why I was proud to launch the $5 million Women in Apprenticeships initiative last week. It will remove barriers for women who want a rewarding career in traditionally male-dominated trades like plumbing, electrical, aviation and IT. Among the first 10 programs in the initiative are 30 preapprenticeships for women in electrical, pathways for women to join the aviation industry and a program to help women facing financial difficulties in the rail industry. And that is not all. The programs also provide hands-on experience, wage support, peer support, mentorships, career pathways for school leavers and online sessions and workshops. Women in Apprenticeships will support 615 women into preapprenticeships, traineeships and apprenticeships and create a strong, diverse pipeline of skilled workers for Victoria’s Big Build. The new initiative will be life changing for Victorian women of all backgrounds and at all stages of their career.
The response has already been resounding. Victorian women want a rewarding career in trades to help build their future. We have already seen a significant number of EOIs in the Big Build apprenticeships program that have been submitted by women, and the Women in Apprenticeships initiative will only boost that number. We are backing women who want jobs in trades, and I encourage anyone who is finishing school, looking for a job or wanting a career change to explore their future in trades at the Apprenticeships Victoria website.