Sydney Women Graduate CPB Contractors’ Australian-First Women in Construction Program

21 August 2023

Today 13 women graduated from CPB Contractors’ paid three-week pre-employment Women in Construction training program, transitioning them to work on major state infrastructure programs and fast-tracking their career paths into the construction industry.

This is the third group of women to graduate from CPB Contractors industry-leading program, with 18 graduating from the pilot program in NSW last year and a further 12 graduating from the first program in Melbourne last month. All graduates have now been placed on CPB Contractors projects, while also completing their Certificate III in Civil Construction accreditation.

Australia’s largest construction company, and a CIMIC Group company, CPB Contractors, received an extraordinary 500 applications for women-only, paid training programs this year, up from 200 last year and knows the demand is there, with many transitioning from sectors like retail, hospitality and travel.

Don Johnson, CPB Contractors Chief Operating Officer and Executive General Manager, NSW & ACT, Major Projects and Tunnelling said, “The need for more skilled workers is an industry-wide issue bigger than any one contractor and we are seeing a lot of success with training programs like this.”

“CPB Contractors’ innovative Women in Construction program is removing common barriers for women interested in a career in construction, providing them financial security, job-ready skills and full-time employment, working on major projects, contributing to the future of our states.”

Today’s graduates have spent the past three weeks training across Western Sydney learning key construction skills including driving roller and dump trucks, working safely at heights, and first aid training.

“Women have traditionally been under-represented in the construction sector, this program is about changing that and delivering real jobs and real opportunities to more people. And as the demand for construction continues to grow, particularly with a focus on affordable housing and Australia’s transition to renewable energy, we need to provide clear pathways making a career in construction more accessible,” said Mr Johnson.

Kim Gwilliam, a Western Sydney local, graduated from the pilot program in 2022. She has been working for CPB Contractors for the last 12 months and says it’s the best career decision she’s made.

“I was turning 40 and thought, ‘What can I do with my life?’ I was bored in my job and I needed to do something different, something new.”

“I’m excited to be a part of building this important infrastructure – it’s going to help people. I would recommend any woman get into construction. I’ve had the best experience from the start to the finish and I’m very proud of myself,” said Ms Gwilliam.