An apprenticeship programme for women has launched by Cubitt's
Whilst it’s long been acknowledged that women can do anything – the take up of women in trade positions doesn’t reflect belief.
In September 2022, the Australian construction association released stats indicating “Just 12 per cent of the construction workforce are women.”
With traditional gender stereotypes, lack of awareness and support contributing to this under-representation, second generation builder and Managing Director of Cubitt’s Granny Flats and Home Extensions, Kate Cubitt is out to change this with the newly launched Cubitt’s Carpenter Apprenticeship Programme for Women.
Cubitt’s has been offering carpenter apprenticeships for over 25 years, and has seen a growing number of women entering the industry over the past decade. Kate believes that providing opportunities for women in trades is not only important for gender equality, but helps to address the skills shortage in the industry.
The push to start employing females in trade positions began in 2020, and as Kate explained there was a common theme throughout the interview process,
“When we started interviewing what we found was many of the female trade apprentices were having a tough time out there, they were being told that females weren’t wanted on site because they would be a distraction.”
Strategically working to find and employ some of the best female carpenters in NSW and ACT, Kate said they are proud to say 5 out of their total staff of 48 are female, whilst this is reflective of the current industry trend, Kate said their goal is to beat this.
Outside of trade roles, Cubitt’s also prioritise females taking on key operational positions, ensuring any young woman starting a career in what is still a very male dominated industry feels supported and has a variety of mentors.
Site Ambassador, Madi Moriarty is extremely supportive of the Cubitt's Apprenticeship Programme. Madi, a qualified carpenter and full-time employee at Cubitt's, is now undertaking her builder's license.
Facing many challenges in her early years in the trade, including inappropriate behaviour and a lack of training, Madi persevered, eventually transferring to a carpentry apprenticeship. Now she wants to encourage and mentor other women who are interested in pursuing a career in the trades.
When it comes to workplace culture, particularly on site, it’s a question often asked by young women apprentices, as Kate explained,
‘As with any workplace, teams build up dynamic around the support systems they have in place. Our young apprentices will always know what is expected of them, will always be given the training they need to do their job and will always have multi-layers of support as they navigate their new careers.’
In April, Ellie Hodges became Cubitt’s newest 2nd year apprentice. Diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, Ellie steered away from typical office work, instead seeking work experience in a variety of trade roles.
Ellie also experienced the reality of trying to become a female apprentice when told by one workplace they were not ready to introduce a female permanently on site. However, through perseverance and a desire to follow her own path, and passion for carpentry, Ellie landed a job with Cubitt’s in March 2023.
“We hope to see people like Madi and Ellie, move through the business, get their qualifications and take on their own apprentice,” said Kate,
“At Cubitt’s we don’t see any difference between the abilities of a female or male apprentice, and we were very lucky to get Madi onboard who is a fully qualified carpenter which allows her to now take on an apprentice and encourage more women into the industry.”
Cubitt's Granny Flats and Home Extensions is a local family-owned and operated business. They’ve been a part of how a home makes a family, for nearly 30 years with their thousands of customers helping them perfect the process of designing and building modern Granny Flats and custom Home Extensions.
Explore exciting possibilities online, or from their Mayfield showroom and see a plan for your family’s future with a free site inspection and pre-council feasibility from one of Cubitt’s experienced Consultants. They’ll work within your budget to bring the most value to your project, and your vision to life.