26 September, 2023
Launching Women in Manufacturing Apprentice Awards 2024!
THE Palaszczuk Government is bolstering support for women in manufacturing through the launch of the Women in Manufacturing Apprentice Awards, announced during Manufacturing Month.
Nominations are now open for the Women in Manufacturing ‘Leading Apprentice Award’ and runner up – the ‘Highly Commended Apprentice Award’ for 2024 and recipients will be announced at the annual International Women’s Day Women in Manufacturing Breakfast next year.
The awards seek to celebrate Queensland’s leading female apprentices who demonstrate strong leadership capabilities in the workplace.
The winner will receive $10,000 and the runner-up, $5,000, with the prize money to support the winners with the cost of items such as tools, uniforms, education or career development courses.
These awards are part of the Women in Manufacturing Strategy, launched earlier this year. The Leading Apprentice Award is sponsored by the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water, and the Highly Commended Apprentice Award is sponsored by Manufacturing Skills Queensland.
The Awards are seeking to promote the strength of women in manufacturing, but also help attract more women to this incredible industry.
The Women in Manufacturing Strategy aims to attract, train and retain more women in the manufacturing industry by focusing on increasing participation in traditionally male dominated roles, to achieve more diversity in the industry right across Queensland.
One manufacturer who is leading the way in increasing women in their workforce is steel supplier and manufacturer, BlueScope Steel.
About 30% of BlueScope’s manufacturing workforce is women, which they attribute to proactive employment diversity policies.
BlueScope is committed to maintaining a 40% gender balanced Board and executive team and driving increased representation of women across all levels of the organisation.
Minister for Manufacturing, Glenn Butcher, said there is plenty of evidence that tells us greater diversity in the workforce leads to greater resilience, lower turnover and better results and outcomes.
“It’s a win for everyone. We know our manufacturers are busy and need more workers. We want to grow the number of women in the manufacturing sector because we know that it is crucial to seeing more businesses grow and thrive.
“By raising the profile of women in manufacturing, we can grow the number of women we see entering the workforce. As I’ve said before – you can’t be what you can’t see so we want to promote the incredible role women are playing in manufacturing so we see more women employed in manufacturing businesses across Queensland.”
Minister for Training and Skills Development, Di Farmer, said the Palaszczuk Government is backing female apprentices.
“We have made it very clear that increasing the number of women in male-dominated industries is a priority.
“It’s not just an equity issue, it is a necessity.
“Our Workforce Strategy blueprint includes many programs helping to increase participation of women in the workforce.”
Member for Stretton, James Martin, said BlueScope Steel are a great example of a company prioritising diversity and now reaping the rewards.
“Attracting and upskilling women is a win-win for the workforce and for women, who can find a rewarding career in manufacturing.”
Manufacturing Skills Queensland CEO, Rebecca Andrews, said MSQ is extremely proud to support this initiative and looks forward to learning about the amazing apprentices who are leading the way in their workplaces.
“We know that diversity delivers benefits for all, and we will continue to develop programs and initiatives that support industry to attract and retain a diverse workforce within the manufacturing sector.”
BlueScope Steel General Manager People Australian Steel Products, Rebecca Roberts, said we have seen a cultural transformation in our workplaces where representation better reflects the communities in which we live, work and operate.
“There is a greater sense of belonging, a willingness to contribute and an overall positive environment.”