More women in Christchurch Rebuild efforts

Nicky Wagner

Wellington, July 23, 2017

The number of women working in construction in Canterbury has more than doubled since the quakes.

This week’s Greater Christchurch Dashboard -Women in Construction shows that the number of women working in both residential and non-residential construction in Canterbury has increased from 3400 in March 2010 to 7600 in March 2017, an increase of 124%. That is 4200 more women employed in skilled trades such as carpentry, plumbing and gas fitting.

Fresh perspective

More and more women are embracing rebuild opportunities by entering and succeeding in this traditionally male-dominated industry.

Women can bring a fresh perspective, strengthen customer relations and improve business performance.

The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), which was responsible for repairing Christchurch’s quake-damaged infrastructure, proactively encouraged women into its workforce through the SCIRT Women in Construction working group.

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of women in crew roles at SCIRT doubled from 6% to 12%.

Women are also increasingly represented in trades training at organisations such as the Ara Institute in Christchurch, where the number of women in trade courses rose from 118 in 2011 to more than 300 in 2016.

With a skills shortage around the country, it’s great to see more women in construction; it makes good business sense and benefits Christchurch and New Zealand economically.

Nicky Wagner is Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration.

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