Austal will boost training opportunities for women in WA, by increasing its female intake.
The shipbuilder is seeking to hire 45 new female apprentices in 2019, as part of its hire of 260 extra workers in the state.
Premier Mark McGowan and Education Minister Sue Ellery have welcomed Austal’s bid to boost female representation on Thursday, touring Austal’s Henderson facilities and speaking with female workers.
Once hired, apprentices are mentored by senior trades staff, supervising them and supporting their transition into the Austal team.
Austal, which is the world’s largest aluminium shipbuilder, currently runs a Pink Ship Program that aims to increase female participation in its workforce across every department from 12 per cent to at least 20 per cent.
The program is encouraging more women to join the traditionally male dominant industry through more flexible working arrangements.
The company uses a critical mass approach, hiring women to create substantial change.
It comes ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday.
Mr McGowan said it is important to “recognise the valuable contribution women make every day in our lives,” and Austal’s commitment to implementing the skills of women into the workforce.
“Austal is committed to increasing women representation in the workforce abd encouraging a positive cultural change across an industry that has been traditionally male dominated.”
“With 260 local jobs on offer at the Henderson facility, now is the time to ensure WA workers have the skills to access the opportunities in the defence and shipbuilding industries.”
Ms Ellery said the government was committed to creating more training and job opportunities for women.
“Apprenticeships and traineeships are important for the ongoing growth and success of Western Australia, and this Government is providing incentives to organisations to employ women in non-traditional trades,” she said.
“We want to increase the number of female apprenticeships and traineeships, and I commend Austal for playing their part in encouraging more women into these industries.”
Women’s Interests Minister Simone McGurk said gender equality was a key factor to improving the economy.
“There is a strong correlation between the gender gap and economic performance. The business case for diversity is clear and well established,” Ms McGurk said.
“If we want to compete and flourish in a global economy and build communities that thrive, gender equality will be a key strategic advantage.”
“Targets and quotas deliver results for women’s representation, and I applaud Austal for their initiative and commitment to ensuring a prosperous future for Western Australian women.”