Thursday, 10 December 2020

Career Revive pilot supporting businesses to recruit women in regional areas

The Morrison Government is continuing to help skilled women across regional Australia get back into the workforce with a second intake of businesses in the Career Revive pilot initiative.

The initiative aims to increase women’s workforce participation by supporting businesses to attract and retain women returning to work after a career break.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt congratulated Shield Traffic – which has its head office in Pialba and multiple locations including Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Mackay – on its selection for the pilot.

“The Australian Government is committed to boosting the confidence of women returning to paid work and their financial independence, as well as supporting businesses to retain skilled women workers. 

“We know that when women do well both professionally and personally, our community, the economy and the nation as a whole prospers,” he said.

Shield Traffic’s managing director Rebecca Rowe said being selected to take part in the Career Revive pilot was a fantastic opportunity for the regional Queensland-based business to bring a spotlight on the potential for women considering their income options. 

“We are hoping the trial brings an awareness of our industry to a greater field of applicants seeking a well-paid career option that is flexible around home and personal circumstances,” Ms Rowe said.

“Currently women are dominating the industry in metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney as Traffic Controllers because they present with intelligence, forward thinking, team values and generally get better respected by the roadworkers and the public. 

“We would like to bring this ideal to regional areas and the awareness and support of this program will enable us with the tools we need. 

Ms Rowe said Traffic Management and its people are often overlooked or abused, but in reality, they are extremely important in the protection of people lives.

“We are asking them to stop moving vehicles, sometimes semi-trailers with a flimsy aluminium bat so that the road workers in their care can turn their back to moving traffic and do their jobs safely. 

“Traffic Controllers to us are ‘the Guards’ they protect the lives of the roadworker, the road user and themselves every time they step out on a road and use the signage and processes to slow you down to achieve their WHS purpose.”

Ms Rowe hopes the Career Revive pilot will highlight the support needed for trainers and recruitment in regional areas.

“Currently our industry has around 35 trainers able to undertake and deliver a Traffic Management licence course, and the majority of those are in Brisbane, so where does that leave regional towns for access? 

“Often courses are booked out and candidates are turned away or lose interest and they are also expensive for young adults to come up with the funds to even consider the idea. 

“We need solutions on how we can improve the access of such courses to regional candidates so that we can build a workforce of new opportunities instead of just recirculating between Traffic Management companies the same people year after year. We need growth, improvement and initiatives and that is what this Career Revive Pilot excites us to be a part of,” she said.

Shield Traffic (formerly Hervey Bay Traffic Control/HBT Traffic) has seen the majority of its more than 16 years of operation in and around the Hervey Bay and Bundaberg regions. The business expanded to Gladstone, then Rockhampton in 2019.

Currently Shield Traffic employs approximately 40 women out of a workforce of 150. It aims to reach and maintain a 50/50 balanced workforce. 

The 10 regional businesses which take part in Career Revive will benefit from expert business improvement advice and support provided by KPMG.

Businesses will be offered specific guidance on how to improve business practices and policies and develop a tailored action plan to address barriers to attracting and retaining skilled women who have been out of the workforce for an extended period.

More information on Career Revive, including case studies of former businesses, can be found at: https://www.dese.gov.au/career-revive

 

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