Women boost workforce

Ministry of infrastructure development says more women are joining the construction sector

By Mike Puia

MORE women are joining the construction sector, it has been revealed.

The Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) confirms that the number of women in the sector is increasing.

This was also highlighted at the opening of certificate III in civil construction plant operations and certificate IV in civil construction operation workshop at the SIBC yesterday.

Newly graduated engineers of the Ministry and representatives of private construction companies are attending the workshop.

Participant of the training from Premier Real Estate having a chat with Civil trainer Howard Berndt and Australian High Commission first secretary Skye Bale.

Of the 35 from nine construction firms that are attending the workshop, which is promised to be very practical, five are women.

Some of the women are engaged by the Ministry to supervise contractors that are working on roads, bridges and wharves.

MID’s training programme coordinator, Michael Wairamo, confirmed in 2017 they organised a training and was attended by four females.

Central Project Implementation Unit (CPIU) team leader, Patrick Mannix, said it is pleasing to note an increased number of women getting qualification in the construction sector.

Mannix said they hope to see 10 women in their pool of qualified people.

Australian High Communion’s First Secretary for Economic Infrastructure, Skye Bale, said for the Solomon Islands to have a transport infrastructure sector that is capable of high-quality works, it requires a competitive, highly-skilled private sector workforce.

Ms Bale said she is pleased that at least five of the trainees are women.

“For courses like Certificate III in Mobile Plant Operations and Certificate IV in Civil Construction Operations, this is a very positive element indeed, and demonstrates the growing capacity of women as professionals in this sector,” Bale said.

She told participants that obtaining certificates in these areas puts them in a strong position within the civil construction sector.

And, Bale said it also gives them an opportunity to advance their careers.

She reminded participants that they are the ones who will help shape and grow the sector, being an important sector in the country.

A female participant of the workshop who is representing Azimuth Survey, Veronica Faith, said they look forward to learning new things and to utilise them in their work.

Ms Faith said they are engaged by the Ministry sometimes to supervise road construction, support engineers and show how contractors should work.

She said they are enjoying their work.

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