More than 21% of positions across the likes of civil engineering, plant operation, safety, environment and administration have so far been filled by women on the project, compared to the national average of 11.7% for the construction industry.
Of the 11 engineers recruited for the project’s first graduate intake for 2017, give are women.
“It is critical that we draw on South Australia’s talent pool for major projects such as the Northern Connector and that means growing and harnessing female talent in industries such as construction,” said Status of Women Minister Zoe Bettison in a statement.
“Improving the gender balance in the construction industry isn’t going to happen straight away. It will only occur through a targeted focus and initiatives like the NorthHub.”
As major construction ramps up, 117 people have been employed by the head contractor Lendlease, with 98 positions filled through NorthHub – a one-stop on-site jobs, education and training centre created specifically for the project.
To date, approximately 94% of all on-site labour hours are being completed by South Australian residents with approximately 53% coming from the northern suburbs.
More than a third of staff are from key target groups including local people with barriers to employment, displaced automotive workers, Aboriginal people and apprentices and trainees, and investment in upskilling and training.
The Northern Connector is expected to support approximately 480 jobs a year during construction, with more jobs becoming available as the works program increases.
The Northern Connector will be a six-lane, 15.5 kilometre motorway providing a vital freight and commuter link between the Northern Expressway, South Road Superway and Port River Expressway.
The Australian Government is committing $788 million to the project, with $197 million from the South Australian Government. The project is scheduled for completion in December 2019.