Vic government program offers women pathway into transport


Women in Automotive (WinA) and the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) has today announced the launch of a new State Government funded grant program, titled Accelerating Women into Automotive, in a joint effort to increase the number of women commencing apprenticeships in the automotive industry

Vic government program offers women pathway into transport
State funded grant to entice women into the automotive industry

With funding from Apprenticeships Victoria, Accelerating Women into Automotive forms part of the Victorian Government’s new Women in Apprenticeships fund, which will support 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. 

While the scheme is looking at the automotive side of the skills shortage being experienced in Australia, as seen with Scania's intiative to 'convert' light duty mechanics to the heavy duty/transport end of the spectrum, there is ample scope for those with transferable skills to choose a mechanical career category outside of automotive.

This innovative project is being led by WinA and VACC in order to create fulfilling career pathways for female apprentices and encourage women to take their first steps in embarking on a rewarding career in the industry, which has long been male-dominated. 

With females only accounting for 6.3% of the commencements in the major automotive qualifications, the program also seeks to increase the talent pool of women at a time of acute skill shortages impacting the automotive industry.

The five-week program 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. 

The program will utilise strategies that are aimed at breaking down barriers in order to attract and recruit women, such as designing integrated training to suit women, business education to help cultivate a supportive culture, employing facilitators who will work to attract new students and support them throughout the program, as well as employing workplace mentors to help transfer their skills and provide all-important industry knowledge. 

Of the program announcement, VACC Lead, Strategy and Policy and WinA Manager, Dr Imogen Reid, said: "We’re thrilled to announce the Accelerating Women into Automotive program. 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 program, 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."

She continued, "we know that organisations significantly benefit from improved gender diversity. We’re excited by the opportunity this program presents – effectively breaking down barriers to entry for both women, and businesses who would like to employ more women."

Governed by a steering committee of industry leaders, WinA seeks to raise the profile and support women working in the automotive industry by providing resources, networking and scholarship opportunities. Having recently initiated an Automotive August membership drive to help build their community, WinA is firmly focused on the future and lifting female participation rates across all sectors of the industry. 

To register for the program, or for more information, please contact the VACC Skills Development Centre on (03) 9829 1130 or visit: vacc.com.au/Programs/Accelerating-Women-into-Automotive-Program

For more information on Women in Automotive, or to become a member, head to: womeninautomotive.com.au/join-us

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