THE Queensland 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.
Minister for Manufacturing Glenn Butcher said this was a win for all.
“There is plenty of evidence that tells us greater diversity in the workforce leads to greater resilience, lower turnover and better results and outcomes,” he said.
“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.”
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 Steel General Manager People Australian Steel Products, Rebecca Roberts expressed her support for increasing diversity.
“We have seen a cultural transformation in our workplaces where representation better reflects the communities in which we live, work and operate,” she said.
“There is a greater sense of belonging, a willingness to contribute and an overall positive environment.”
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.
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