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MANDATORY gender quota on construction sites comes into force

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 30/12/2021 Kylie Stevens For Daily Mail Australia

More women have been urged to pick up the tools and enter the construction industry in a policy overhaul by Daniel Andrews that comes into force tomorrow.

The Victorian Premier has announced mandatory gender quotas on major construction sites for new government projects worth $20 million or more earlier this month, set to come into effect from January 1.

The landmark gender quota for the male-dominated industry has been hailed as an Australian-first.

Women currently represent just 2.5 per cent of building and construction trades workers in Victoria.

It means that women must represent at least three per cent of jobs in each trade role on a project, four per cent of apprentices and trainees, seven per cent for each non-trade position, and 35 per cent of management, supervisor and specialist labour roles under the Building Equality Policy.

'We need to make women aware that construction is an attractive and viable career option – and these targets will ensure women are proactively included and stay in the industry, with stronger career pathways,' transport infrastructure minister Jacinta Allan said.

'Greater diversity makes our workplaces stronger – and greater representation of women in construction will benefit everyone in the industry.'   

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The new policy to overhaul the male-dominated industry was devised in consultation with Victoria's Building Industry Consultative Council. 

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Acting council chair and Master Builders Victoria chief executive Rebecca Casson added: 'More women are active in building and construction now than in the past, but they still make up just 2.5 per cent of all building and construction trades workers in Victoria.'

Industry leaders and female workers have also welcomed the new gender quotas.

'I wish there were more women working in construction because there's a set of skills that we bring,' Metro Tunnel Project engineer Melanie Langlois told Nine News.

Supa Group Constructions director Neil Gardiner added: 'I would encourage any females out there that would like to join the construction industry or join a trade to do so,' he said.

Major construction sites will be some leniency with a two year transition period to work towards fulfilling gender quotas before penalties kick in from January 2024.

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