Foundation Skills for Women in the Energy Industry

Sector: Equity and Diversity

Client: E-Oz Energy Skills Australia (E-Oz)

Miles Morgan was initially engaged by E-Oz, the Industry Skills Council for the energy sector (comprising electrotechnology; electricity distribution, transmission and rail; electricity generation; and gas transmission), to undertake research into whether there were any specific literacy and numeracy (frequently known as “foundation” skills) strategies that would help women to enter and succeed in energy sector trades.

However, during the course of the research it became evident that not only there was little evidence of a need for numeracy resources specifically designed for women, but that there was also concern that such resources might in fact perpetuate negative stereotypes. As a result, the focus of the research shifted to an examination of strategies that could be developed to both encourage more women to work in the sector, whilst supporting the general foundation skills underpinning vocational competence in the industry.

Outcome: The final report for this project provided a suite of recommendations for the creation of a professional development program to be delivered to an existing network of E-Oz Mentors. The design of this program would serve to increase the capacity of these mentors to better promote the industry to young women, aid in the development of the foundation skills of their mentees, and raise awareness of the importance of gender-inclusive training and work environments amongst workers, employers, trainers and the parents of young apprentices.

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