Department of Family and Community Services

3.2 Women's participation in technical trade training

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Participation in apprenticeships and traineeships in technical and trade occupations

Current position

In the 12 months to September 2012, 4,603 women commenced an apprenticeship or traineeship in a technical or trade occupation, representing 17 percent of total apprenticeship and traineeship commencements.

In the 12 months to September 2012, 2,478 women completed an apprenticeship or traineeship in a technical or trade occupation, representing 16 percent of total  apprenticeship and traineeship completions.

Gender gap

  • In 2012, there were nearly 17,500 fewer women than men who commenced an apprenticeship or traineeship in a technical or trade occupation.
The direction of
change over time

Participation in technical and trade apprenticeships and traineeships has increased a little among both sexes in the last decade.

In 2012, there were nearly 11,000 fewer women than men who completed an apprenticeship or traineeship in a technical or trade occupation.

While the proportion of men and women commencing and completing technical and trade apprenticeships and traineeships has remained constant (between 14 and 18 percent women from 2003-12 for both commencements and completions) the numerical gap has grown substantially (see Figure 3.9).

Discussion

Apprenticeships and traineeships in technical and trade occupations make up 27 percent of all apprenticeship and traineeship commencements in NSW. The majority are male-dominated according to the NSW Government definition of having 25 percent or fewer women (see below). Only the food trades and the other trade groups (which includes hairdressers) are not male-dominated.

Of the total number of women commencing a technical or trade apprenticeship or traineeship in 2012, 4 percent were animal attendants and trainers, 6 percent were medical technicians, 12 percent were cooks and 28 percent were hairdressers. In contrast, 6 percent of males were cooks and 1 percent were hairdressers with the vast majority of males (49 percent) undertaking construction, automotive and engineering trades.

From 2002 to 2012 there has been a slight increase in the percentage of women commencing a construction, automotive and engineering trade.

Trades’ apprentices and trainees are people whose apprenticeship or traineeship was in one of the occupations in the ANZSCO (Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) 2006, Major Group 3, Technicians and Trade Workers. This group includes: engineering, ICT and science technicians, automotive and engineering trades workers, construction trades workers, electrotechnology and telecommunications trades workers, food trades workers, skilled animal and horticultural workers and other technicians and trades workers.

The NSW Government defines occupations or training as ‘male-dominated’ where 25 percent or less of participants are women.

Year collected: 2012.
Data source: 12 months to September quarter 2012, NCVER, Apprentices and Trainees Collection.
More information is available at www.ncver.edu.au

Figure 3.9 Technician and trade apprenticeships and traineeships, 2003-12

Fig 3.9

Note: Masters level enrolments in the above figure include: graduate certificate, graduate diploma and Masters degrees by research or coursework.
Bachelor’s degree enrolments include: Bachelor’s graduate entry, Bachelor’s honours and Bachelor’s pass. Other courses include: associate degree,
advanced diploma, diploma and other undergraduate award courses.
Population: NSW residents who enrolled in a higher education course in 2006 and 2011.

Figure 3.10 Selected trade and technical apprenticeships and traineeships over time

Fig 3.10

Population: NSW women who were enrolled in a higher education course in 2011.
Source: Department of Innovation, Higher Education Statistics Collection (Student Collection), unpublished data.