Surveys launched to get more women into the trades

Trade Careers is launching two nationwide surveys on Wednesday 14 April to understand more about why women are not entering trade careers and what may be preventing employers in the trades from hiring more women.

To date, 22,000 women have lost their jobs in New Zealand due to COVID-19.

Women makeup half the population yet in total there are only 13.5% of women in the trades including in administrative roles.

“We think these percentages need to be a lot higher,” says Toby Beagehole, Chief Executive, BCITO.

“At Skills, we have seen an increase in female apprentices overall but those numbers could still be higher,” says Garry Fissenden, CEO Skills. “We want women to see that it’s not just a great career for the lads. It provides real career opportunities for women, too – and many of those businesses that take on our female apprentices, just love their attitude. We are excited to see more women taking those opportunities, too.”

Trade Careers is the first project of the newly formed Women in Trades Collective (WITC) and is supported by BCITO, Connexis, Skills, and Competenz and funded by the Tertiary Education Commission.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) estimates there will be 56,000 new jobs in construction by 2029 — far more than the 24,000 jobs created in the past decade.

“Having more women in the trades will play a big part in meeting the long-term skills shortage in the industry. Unfortunately, for many women, entering the trades is easier said than done.’ says Fiona Kingsford, Chief Executive Competenz.

“This project has the opportunity to radically change the industry and improve the lives of thousands of women, their families, and our communities. We believe that by working together with both women, who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, and employers we can develop innovative solutions to increase women’s participation in the trade workforce,“ says Kaarin Gaukrodger, Chief Executive of Connexis, the Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation.

“We encourage women who are thinking of retraining or who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 to take the survey. Employers,  we are relying on you to help us get it right” says Toby Beagehole.

The surveys run from 14 April  – 7 May

For more information please go to 

Women Survey

If you have lost your job due to COVID-19 we want to hear from you. Your answers are the single most important driver of change to getting more women into the trades.

Employer Survey

We want to learn more about the opportunities and barriers that employers experience in employing women.What do you need to know about? What are your concerns?