Women in apprenticeships and traineeships

Women have been under-represented in apprenticeships and traineeships for far too long. We’re working to break down barriers that have kept women out of many industries, and reduce the gender gap – particularly in traditional trades. That’s why we’re supporting ground-breaking training and career pathways that provide opportunities for women to get qualifications, skills and paid work in trade and technical careers.

Keen on getting involved? Your time on the tools starts now!

Women Onsite​

The Women Onsite Project is a pilot program that’s all about opening up opportunities for women in male-dominated trades.

Since the 1980s, women have represented less than 2% of the Australian trades workforce – so we know there’s some catching up to do. That’s why we’re inviting women of all ages and backgrounds to explore the types of well-paying careers that can come from training or re-training as an apprentice or trainee. Want to give it a go?

Women Onsite is part of the Victorian Government’s Learn and Earn program, and it’s run through Victorian Trades Hall Council.

Here’s what we are doing so far:

  • Running an info-packed website and social media campaign to help women get inspired about their career options
  • Women-only Try a Trade days, allowing you to get a feel for what different trades are all about
  • Women-only pre-apprenticeships, to set you up for success in your chosen field
  • Teaming up with the University of Melbourne to research the best ways to recruit more women into the trades.

For more info on how Women Onsite can help support your career head here.

A woman in high vis vest and hard hat on a construction site

Accelerating Women in Auto

Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce program designed to increase the number of women starting apprenticeships in the automotive industry.

WAVE Women in Electrical

Invites 100 women to a Try a Trade Day, with the aim of recruiting 30 women to start a pre-apprenticeship scheme. Run by the Electrical Trades Union.

Women in Plumbing

In partnership with Master Plumbers, the program champions a connected community of aspiring female students, apprentices and plumbers to address participation rates for women in plumbing.


Trades Women Australia program providing an online platform for women, influencers and employers to raise awareness and connect women with apprentice and trainee job opportunities.

a group of multi ethnic mechanical apprentices working on a car

Women in STEM

This project, managed by the Australian Industry Group, aims to recruit and support 30 women in engineering apprenticeships, and 20 women in traineeships in ICT and Industry 4.0.

SPRINKS Female Specific Apprenticeship Pathway

In partnership with the National Fire Industry Association, this project aims to recruit 30 female school leavers into the traditionally male-dominated fire protection industry.

Women and Their Trade

NECA program designed to provide career opportunities for women in the electrical industry, supporting 25 female apprentices with a special focus on mature-age candidates.

Women on Track

Recruits 10 women into rail industry traineeships combining structured learning with on-the-job experience in High Capacity Metro Trains at Downer Group.

Women Only Multi Industry Pre-apprenticeship Support Project

Delivers eight all-women pre-apprenticeship programs for 120 women across Victoria, including plumbing, carpentry, IT and landscaping. With Apprenticeship Employment Network.

Women in Big Build Apprenticeships

Victoria’s Big Build is all about investing in our state’s infrastructure, roads and railways. And with the new Big Build Apprenticeships (BBA) scheme, we want to invest in you, too.

Hundreds of apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities are available across some of Victoria’s biggest projects, such as the North East Link, the New Footscray Hospital and Warrnambool Learning and Library Hub.

We know that women will play a key role in addressing skilled labour shortages in construction, so we are encouraging their involvement. To find out more about the BBA scheme and to apply online, head here.

A woman in hi vis vest hard hat holding a walkie talkie

Head Start and School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SBATs)

Girls in secondary school don’t need to wait till Year 12 is over to get hands-on experience with apprenticeships and traineeships. Maybe you’re already set on a career in trades, or just keen on having a go?

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SBATs) let you kickstart your career early, combining school with on-the-job training and vocational study. They’re open to senior secondary students 15 years and up who are enrolled in VCE or VCAL, and allow you to earn real wages through part-time employment while staying in school with your mates (and graduating with them, too).

From the end of 2023, all government secondary schools in the state will be running the Head Start program – a new, more flexible approach to SBATs. Head Start allows students to spend more time doing valuable, paid, on-the-job training while completing VCE or VCAL.