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Women key target to boost infrastructure numbers


Women key target to boost infrastructure numbers

Wellington, 18 May 2017: The Government's recent announcement of an $11 billion investment into infrastructure signals the need for recruiting more quality workers into the industry.

New Zealand's infrastructure industry is already short of skilled staff with a prediction of 25,000 more workers required to meet industry demand over the next 3 years. Connexis, the Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation (ITO), servicing Civil, Energy, 3Waters and Telecommunications, sees women as key to filling these roles.

Connexis Interim-Chief Executive David Worsnop says, "While women make up 50 percent of the country's population, less than 4 percent of Connexis trade and technical trainees are women. We've identified women as a key potential source to help staff the workforce and industry are working alongside, actively supporting to promote and increase numbers."

One key initiative to attract women to a career in the industry is 'Girls with Hi-Vis®' which runs throughout the month of June. Women around the country will don hi-vis jackets to try their hand at jobs that are traditionally more popular with men, in the Energy, Telecommunications, Civil Construction and 3Waters industries, in a bid to attract more women into the workforce.

Being held for the third year, the annual 'Girls with Hi-Vis®' initiative sees staff already working in the Infrastructure Industry inviting sisters, daughters, friends, cousins and wives to work for a day for a 'hands on experience' on the job.

David says, "Traditionally men are employed in these roles, but women are just as suited for the jobs and offer a different skill base, which adds value to the teams they work in. Infrastructure companies recognise that women bring with them strong attention to detail, good safety practices and help to lift team productivity.

"We're aiming to encourage more women to start a career in the industry and 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 a key initiative for achieving this."

Industry partners for Girls with Hi-Vis® 2017 are Visionstream, Auckland; WaterCare, Auckland; Counties Power, Manukau; Tauranga City Council in partnership with Downer; Mainpower, Rangiora; Contact Energy, Clyde; Meridian, Wellington, Twizel and Manapouri; Horizon Energy Group, Whakatane; Genesis Energy Huntly and Turangi; City Care, Auckland; First Gas, Taranaki; and Vector, Kapuni. They will all be welcoming women to experience their company and industry during the month of June.

This year Girls with Hi-Vis® has teamed up with Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) to cross promote the #BuildAKL campaign across the region.

See for more details.

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