Focus on Women in Trades

Focus on Women in Trades

Minister for Women’s Affairs, the Hon Jo Goodhew, visited CPIT this week to talk about attracting women into trades.

The minister joined a workshop of managers from CPIT’s Trades Innovation Institute for an informal discussion to learn more about the barriers women face in trades training and employment.


Minister for Women’s Affairs, the Hon Jo Goodhew.

“Our priority is increasing women’s financial independence,” Minister Goodhew said, identifying trades as a good opportunity for women in the current economic climate.

With huge changes to the retail and hospitality sectors in Canterbury and a projected skills shortage for the rebuild of Christchurch, there has never been a better time for women to consider trades training. Women now make up one third of programmes such as painting and decorating at CPIT, however other programmes have just 1 to 2% women.

Women excel in trades training according to CPIT managers, often gaining top marks and becoming model apprentices. However attitudes in some parts of the trades industries still need to be addressed. One suggestion for improving perceptions was to increase the visibility of female role models in trades.

In 2006 only one percent of builders, plumbers, electricians, and motor mechanics were women, according to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.  CPIT is addressing this situation by supporting initiatives such as the Women in Trades Network; profiling and promoting trades programmes and opportunities at Careers Expos and schools liaison presentations; and working with industry and government.