Women in Automotive (WinA) and the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) have announced the launch of a new state government funded grant programme to increase the number of women commencing apprenticeships in the automotive industry.
With funding from Apprenticeships Victoria, the Accelerating Women into Automotive programme forms part of the State Government of Victoria’s new Women in Apprenticeships fund, which is described as supporting 615 women into apprenticeships and traineeships under a $5 million fund aimed at creating a pipeline of skilled workers to “help build Victoria’s future”.
The project is being led by WinA and the VACC to “create fulfilling career pathways for female apprentices and encourage women to embark on a rewarding career in the industry”. According to WinA, women currently account for 6.3 per cent of commencements in major automotive qualifications.
The programme also aims to increase the talent pool of women at a time of acute skill shortages impacting the automotive industry.
WinA said the five-week programme will place successful applicants into a short and intensive introduction to the automotive industry through customised training and work placement at a registered training organisation, with training covering everything from mechanics to engineering, sales and repairs.
According to WinA, the programme will use strategies aimed at breaking down barriers to attract and recruit women. These include designing integrated training to suit women, business education to help cultivate a supportive culture, employing facilitators who attract new students and support them throughout the programme. It will also employ workplace mentors to help transfer their skills and provide industry knowledge.
“We’re thrilled to announce the Accelerating Women into Automotive programme,” said Dr Imogen Reid, Lead Strategy and Policy and WinA Manager at the VACC. “WinA exists to attract, recruit and retain women across all levels and sectors of automotive, so we hope this will encourage more women to join and change the gender perception that has long been associated with the industry.
“At the completion of the programme, we hope participants will feel excited to join the industry and undertake their full apprenticeship. By providing the right training and employment opportunities, we aim to increase the completion rates of female apprentices in automotive.
“We know that organisations significantly benefit from improved gender diversity. We’re excited by the opportunity this programme presents, effectively breaking down barriers to entry for both women, and businesses who would like to employ more women.”