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Greens call for review of billion-dollar trade training fund they say favours men over women

The Green Party is calling for a review of a billion-dollar trade training fund aimed at getting people back into work which they say is favouring men over women.

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It called for a review as it said most Government-funded study options for those who've lost their jobs due to Covid-19 are for male-dominated industries. Source: 1 NEWS

The party says most Government-funded study options for people who lost their jobs due to Covid-19 are in male-dominated industries.

Tendy Coooper is three months into a building apprenticeship after being made redundant.

"Covid sucked," Cooper says. "I'm a mum with two kids so knew I had to keep on going."

The industry is included in the Government's $1.6 billion targeted training and apprenticeship fund, which means many will not be forced to pay for their qualification.

While co-leader Marama Davidson was initially on board with the policy, she now says the fund is largely "skewered towards predominantly male-dominated workforce, male-dominated training".

Of the 11,000 Kiwis who lost their jobs amid the Covid-19 pandemic, 90 per cent were women working in hard-hit industries such as retail, tourism and hospitality.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern challenged why people would believe the training scheme favours men.

The Government said while it is not yet able to provide a gender breakdown for the training scheme, the number of women doing apprenticeships is up by 8 per cent in August, on the same time last year.

The Greens are now calling for female-dominated professions to be included in the training fund.

Davidson said the policy wasn't sexist, but "just doesn't have a gender lens over it in the way it should have from the start".

She said the party would be happy to wait until after the October 17 election to include the potential changes.