Nominations open for Qld’s Women in Manufacturing Apprentice Awards 2024

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The Queensland Government has unveiled the Women in Manufacturing Apprentice Awards during Manufacturing Month in a push to recognise the state’s leading female apprentices who demonstrate strong leadership skills in their workplace.

In a media statement, the government said nominations are now open for the Women in Manufacturing ‘Leading Apprentice Award’ and the ‘Highly Commended Apprentice Award’ for 2024. 

The winners will be announced at the annual International Women’s Day Women in Manufacturing Breakfast next year. 

The recipient of the Leading Apprentice Award will receive $10,000, while the runner-up will receive $5,000. 

This prize money is intended to assist the winners with expenses like tools, uniforms, education, or career development courses.

The government said these awards are a vital component of the Women in Manufacturing Strategy, which was launched earlier this year. 

The Leading Apprentice Award is sponsored by the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing, and Water, while the Highly Commended Apprentice Award is sponsored by Manufacturing Skills Queensland.

The objective of the Women in Manufacturing Strategy is to attract, train, and retain more women in the manufacturing industry by encouraging greater participation in traditionally male-dominated roles. 

This initiative also aims to enhance diversity throughout the Queensland manufacturing sector.

One industry leader in fostering female participation in their workforce is BlueScope Steel, a steel supplier and manufacturer. 

Data showed approximately 30 per cent of BlueScope’s manufacturing workforce is comprised of women, and the company said it is committed to maintaining a 40 per cent gender-balanced board and executive team, as well as increasing women’s representation at all organisational levels.

Minister for Manufacturing Glenn Butcher emphasised the benefits of workforce diversity, including greater resilience, reduced turnover, and improved outcomes. 

He expressed the government’s desire to increase the number of women in the manufacturing sector to support business growth and prosperity.

“By raising the profile of women in manufacturing, we can grow the number of women we see entering the workforce. As I’ve said before – you can’t be what you can’t see so we want to promote the incredible role women are playing in manufacturing so we see more women employed in manufacturing businesses across Queensland,” Butcher explained.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer affirmed the government’s commitment to supporting female apprentices and increasing women’s participation in traditionally male-dominated industries.

“Our Workforce Strategy blueprint includes many programs helping to increase participation of women in the workforce,” Minister Farmer noted. 

Member for Stretton James Martin highlighted BlueScope Steel’s success in prioritising diversity, leading to positive outcomes for both the workforce and women seeking rewarding careers in manufacturing.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Andrews, CEO of Manufacturing Skills Queensland (MSQ), expressed pride in supporting the initiative and the apprentices who are leading the way in their workplaces.

“We know that diversity delivers benefits for all, and we will continue to develop programs and initiatives that support industry to attract and retain a diverse workforce within the manufacturing sector,” Andrews stated.