PPE for Women and Employers' Handbook - Successful Launch in Christchurch

Minister for Women Louise Upston has launched a new initiative to attract more women to the trades and construction industry.

A new range of safety gear designed to fit women along with an employers’ handbook was unveiled at yesterday’s launch in Christchurch.

SCIRT Engineer Kimberley Jupp was the driving force behind the new range of safety gear which she says will make women feel more comfortable when working on site.

“Wearing gear that doesn’t fit properly makes you feel like you don’t fit in and can be dangerous. The smallest size men’s vest equates to a size 14. This new range starts at a size 8 and is tailored to fit women so we can feel comfortable and safe at work.”

Ms Upston says the new handbook gives employers practical advice on how to grow the number of women in the trades and construction industry. Women now make up 16% of the construction industry, which is almost double the rate of two years ago.

“There’s already a shortage of trade workers and demand will continue to grow, especially in Canterbury. Construction activity in New Zealand is forecast to increase 10% every year to 2019 so it makes good business sense to think about how to attract women to your jobs. My message is that employers need to consider all workers when they recruit.”

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