The Andrews Labor Government’s $64 million State Netball and Hockey Centre (SNHC) redevelopment will provide the platform for a pilot program to increase the number of women working in construction.
Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula this week inspected progress at the SNHC site and saw first-hand advances being made in addressing the gender imbalance common across the building sector.
Half of contractor Kane Constructions’ eight project staff are female, as are three of four staff from Development Victoria’s SNHC project team.
Kane Constructions has pledged to maximise female participation on the project while encouraging subcontractors to do the same. Plumbing company Cooke and Dowsett has jumped on board, recently appointing North Melbourne AFLW player Jasmine Garner as an apprentice to work on the site.
Women account for just 17 per cent of construction jobs, and less than 6 per cent of technical and trade roles.
Under the Kane Constructions SNHC pilot program a call will be made to Victorian women and girls, including the thousands who play at the State Netball and Hockey Centre at Royal Park each week, to consider a career in construction.
The program will incorporate information sessions on pathways to a career in construction, highlight role models for young women in the industry such as Ms Garner and develop other strategies to break down barriers.
Importantly, the pilot will measure results with this information able to be used to set goals for future projects.
The pilot is consistent with the Labor Government’s commitment to open more doors for Victorians in the booming construction industry. This includes the Major Projects Skills Guarantee (MPSG), which applies to all construction projects valued over $20 million.
Since 2016, the MPSG has been applied to 116 projects worth collectively over $63 billion, which have committed to 4 million contracted hours for 3,700 apprentices, trainees and cadets.
The State Netball and Hockey Centre upgrade began in March and will cement Royal Park as the home of netball and hockey in Australia.
Four outdoor netball courts have been removed to make way for six new indoor netball courts. Work on new indoor hockey fields, a creche and high-performance strength and conditioning gym will start later this year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula
“We want to help change the game for women and girls in sport and work, and the State Netball and Hockey Centre project provides a tremendous opportunity to make real ground on this pivotal issue.”
“This is about doing things that will make a difference in the lives of women and girls now and in the future.”