Jacinda Ardern says the Government is working on plans to attract more women to areas with skills shortages, after women were disproportionately impacted by job losses due to Covid-19.
According to KiwiBank, 90 per cent of people who lost their jobs during the June quarter were women. Young people and Māori were also among the workers hardest hit by Covid-19's impact on the economy.
"We know they’ve been hit by Covid," Ardern said today. "We also know some of the jobs that have been lost are returning as well."
Ardern was speaking about the doubling of people on apprenticeships since the free targeted apprenticeship fund was announced - almost 14,000, up from 7500 last year.
But of that 14,000, only 1785 were women. In 2019, 845 of the apprentices were women.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins called it a "welcome development to see more women going into these traditionally male-dominated industries".
"But I acknowledge that there’s still a long way to go."
As of September, the unemployment rate for men was 4.8, while the rate for women was 5.8.
Ardern said the Government was working on specifically attracting more women to areas where there are skills shortages.
She said other policies will help with the employment of women, such as the training incentive allowance, work around the abatement rate and the flexi wage scheme.