Training and Upskilling for Women in Construction

Project: Research

Project Details


The construction industry is a key economic contributor worldwide, including Australia, where it accounts for 7% of the domestic GDP in 2022 (ABS, 2022a). This is a particular case of ACT, in which the construction sector generated a significant contribution of 10% to the Gross State Product (GSP) between 2021 and 2022 (ABS, 2022b). However, the Australian construction industry has been subject to a severe workforce/skill shortage. As widely reported in public media, the skilled construction worker shortage in Australia has reached a critical level (i.e., 10,000 unfilled roles), and this serious problematic issue was acknowledged as a main cause of project delay and cost overrun leading to the undersupply of infrastructure asses and residential buildings alongside an increasing level of demand (infrastructure and dwellings). The report published by the Australian National Skills Commission (2022) also indicates that shortage is currently prevalent in all reviewed construction occupations, which therefore have been placed in the 2021 Skills Priority List (SPL).
Resolving the above-presented challenge necessitates workforce planning, which this proposal attempts to address to make some headway for ACT. Essentially, workforce planning is a process of not only assessing supply and demand levels in the labour market, but also enabling gender balance and equality to better fill the workforce/skill demand-supply gap. However, the construction industry is historically a male-dominated sector, where only 12% of the practitioners are women (Australian Construction Association, 2022). Suffice it to say, females are a cohort that has a huge potential to contribute to the unfilled roles being prevalent in the construction industry. As claimed by many professional bodies (e.g., the Australian Institute of Building and Masters Builders Association), it is time to attract women to construction. In this stance, this research project aims to develop a robust female workforce planning juxtaposed with the development of appropriate educational programmes. Specific objectives include:
• Identify the workforce and skills gaps in the ACT construction industry;
• Develop strategies in line with the identified skill gaps to not only attract female school leavers for construction practice but also upskill existing female construction practitioners in ACT; and
• Develop building and construction short training courses to (1) provide young females with a pathway to enter the industry, and (2) upskill existing female practitioners to enhance their employability for a career move.
Short titlewomen workforce in Construction
Effective start/end date21/07/2329/12/24


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