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Project background

The Queensland Training Ombudsman (QTO) undertook a review of the support measures available to apprentices and trainees in Queensland and specifically the support for female apprentices and trainees in male dominated occupations.

In particular, the review aimed to identify improvements or gaps in current arrangements and the inclusion of additional support measures, if needed, to ensure Queensland has safe and productive workplaces with adequate support arrangements for apprentices and trainees.

As part of the systemic review, the QTO requested Jobs Queensland undertake a review of current Australian and international literature on apprenticeships, with a focus on:

  • women in trade apprenticeships
  • workplace culture (bullying and harassment) including support mechanisms
  • future apprenticeship models.

In 2017, Jobs Queensland published Positive Futures: Apprenticeships and Traineeships in Queensland (Positive Futures). The most recent literature review takes the Positive Futures work as its starting point and examines recent literature and identifies gaps in the research.

Literature review

Apprenticeship, women and workplace culture: A literature review was based on current Australian and international literature in relation to bullying and harassment into traditional apprenticeships, with a focus on its impact on women in traditional trades.

The literature review found that across jurisdictions, there are a number of common challenges:

  • The under-representation of women in engineering and technology apprenticeships
  • High non-completion rates for both men and women
  • The need to change workforce practices and workplace cultures to support diversification of the workforce
  • Lack of defined career pathways on completion of an apprenticeship
  • The changing nature of work and the ability of the apprenticeship system to respond.


READ THE Literature review
(PDF, 681 KB)

Training Ombudsman's review

Apprenticeship, women and workplace culture: A literature review informed the Queensland Training Ombudsman’s Review of support provided to Queensland Apprentices and Trainees, with a focus on female apprentices in male dominated occupations.

For more information, visit


(PDF, 2.67 MB)


There was also a Queensland Government response, which accepted all 12 recommendations outlined in the Training Ombudsman’s review. Click here to read the Queensland Government’s response to the report.

Last updated 29 November 2022