Women urged to nail a building trade

There are calls for females to consider a job on the tools in a bid to fill looming labour shortages in construction

There are calls for females to consider a job on the tools in a bid to fill looming labour shortages in construction.

The National Association of Women in Construction says females overlook the well-paid jobs partly because of a myth that men are better suited.

WA women account for only 2.6 per cent of construction apprentices, up from 1.8 per cent in 2009.

Labour market forecaster Dyball Consulting predicts a skilled labour shortage will hit in about three years after a 7000 fall in people taking on apprenticeships or training in the year to June compared with the previous year.

The exit rate also remained high, with 225 WA people walking away from programs every week.

NAWIC president Hayley McBride said the slow growth in women taking on apprenticeships was partly because of a false perception that they could not handle the physical strain.

She said this was unfortunately one of the biggest myths about skilled trades.

Emma Bain, of Golden Bay, enjoys being a painter because it often involves outdoor work and allows her to be creative.

She came across both negativity and encouragement in the male-dominated trade and said both helped drive her to become a better painter.

NAWIC this week launched an awards program to recognise inspirational women in the sector.

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