Graduates of Women in Construction program to work on major infrastructure projects

Thirteen women graduated from CPB Contractors’ 2023 Women in Construction paid training program on Friday 18 August – with all guaranteed a job on a major Sydney infrastructure project.

CPB Contractors Chief Operating Officer and Executive General Manager, NSW & ACT, Major Projects and Tunnelling Don Johnson said programs like Women in Construction can help address the industry’s skilled labour shortage.

“We are removing common barriers for women wanting to change careers, as the training not only provides job-ready skills and financial security, but also leads into full-time employment on a major construction project that contributes to local communities,” said Johnson. “Women have been under-represented in the sector.”

“This program is about creating a more equitable construction industry and delivering real jobs and real opportunities to more people.

“As the demand for construction continues to grow, particularly with a focus on affordable housing and Australia’s transition to renewable energy, we need to provide clear career pathways that make construction more accessible.”

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The graduates of this year’s Women in Construction program have spent three weeks training across Western Sydney, driving bob cats and giant haul trucks and working safely at heights, as well as learning key skills in risk control, work health and safety policies and procedures and first aid.

All graduates have now commenced working on major infrastructure projects across Sydney, including the M6 Stage 1, Sydney Metro West and Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport.

This is the third group of women to graduate from CPB Contractors’ program, with 18 graduating from the pilot program in NSW last year and a further 10 graduating from Melbourne’s first program last month. All graduates have now secured employment on a CPB Contractors project, with the opportunity to complete a Certificate III in Civil Construction accreditation.

Kim Gwilliam, a Western Sydney local, graduated from the pilot program in 2022 and has been working for CPB Contractors for the last 12 months as a labourer. She says it’s the best career decision she’s made.

Graduates of Women in Construction program to work on major infrastructure projects
Kim Gwilliam, labourer and apprentice for CPB Contractors and Women in Construction program graduate.

“I was turning 40 and was bored in my job,” said Ms Gwilliam. “I knew I needed to do something different and try something new.”

“Born and bred in Western Sydney, I’m excited to be a part of building important infrastructure that is going to help people in my community.

“I would recommend any woman get into construction – I’ve had the best experience from the start to the finish and I’m very proud of myself.”

The Women in Construction program, now in its second year, received 794 applications in 2023.

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