Women targeted to ease skill shortage in infrastructure industry

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New Zealand’s infrastructure industry is short of skilled staff, and women are being targeted to fill the jobs.

Women around the country recently donned hi-vis jackets to try their hand at jobs in the electricity supply, telecommunications, civil infrastructure and water industries, in a bid to attract more women into the workforce.

The annual Girls with Hi-Vis initiative sees staff inviting sisters, daughters, friends, cousins and wives to work for a day for a hands-on experience.

Helmut Modlik, chief executive of Connexis, the industry training organisation for the infrastructure industry, says the industry has a shortage of skilled workers, and women are a relatively untapped workforce.

“Traditionally, men are employed in these roles, but women are just as suited for the jobs, and also offer a different skill base, which introduces an added dimension to the workforce.

“Another key industry objective is to build a stronger network of women in the infrastructure industry which, in turn, nurtures inclusion, success and sustainability through mentoring and support. Girls with Hi-Vis month is one way of achieving this,” he says.

The highlight of Girls with Hi-Vis month is a Celebration of Women in Infrastructure lunch in Wellington on July 21. A selection of women who try out the industry for a day during Girls with Hi-Vis month will be invited to the event.

Industry partners are Vision Stream, Auckland; Contact Energy, Clyde; and Mainpower, Rangiora.

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