The Annastacia Palaszczuk-led Queensland government has accepted the recommendation made by the Queensland Training Ombudsman, which will ensure the protection of female tradespersons at the workplace. As per the report, there were upto twelve recommendations made to ensure all the tradeswomen would have a supportive, healthy and safe work environment.
Seven out of those recommendations from the report relate to female apprentices, as barriers for them continue to prevail in workplaces traditionally dominated by men.
Ann-Marie Allan, the Chief Executive of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union said that they frequently have female apprentices and trainees seeking help to deal with shocking bullying and harassment at work.
"It’s not a little fight on the job or a one-off incident, it’s a consistent pattern of bad behaviour, bullying and sexual harassment. They get passed around because no one wants to take responsibility for it, and the damage gets even worse, it affects their dignity and self-respect.” She added.
The recommendations are said to improve on how to boost women's participation in the sector.
Geoff Favell, Queensland Training Ombudsman said, “The report identifies enhancements that can be made to assist prospective employers, apprentices, and trainees; support apprentices, trainees, and their employers during the life of their training contract; and ensure that where intervention is required it happens in a coordinated and timely manner.”
The report is said to be an engagement to call out the Construction Skills Queensland, Energy Skills Queensland, the Furnishing industry, the Motor Trades Association of Queensland, and the upcoming Manufacturing Skills Queensland to develop human resource strategies for the employment of more women.
Training and Skills Development Minister Di Farmer said,“ Unfortunately, we still have instances where trainees and apprentices, in particular women, are made to feel unsafe or uncomfortable in the workplace and this is simply not acceptable,", adding that female tradies' participation is only almost five per cent.”
She also added that they must remove these barriers so women tradespersons can confidently complete their training.