Earlier this month top companies from across the North East have come together to further promote women in construction, in an event held here at Hartlepool College. The North East branch of the National Association of Women in Construction, hosted its Continuing Professional Development event which invited 13 women from the construction industry ranging from students to Managing Directors, to take part in a series of hands-on bricklaying and joinery challenges.
Women make up 12.8 per cent of the construction workforce in the UK and earlier this year a survey commissioned by housebuilder Keepmoat revealed that just 13 per cent of women aged 16-25 would consider a career in construction.
Organisations attending included, Constructing Excellence North East, WSP Seymour Civil Engineering, Seymour Architects, Working Well together North East, Emerald Architects, Gateshead Housing Company and Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) along with six Construction and Built Environment students from the College who assisted in the challenges.
John Cartwright, Head of Construction at Hartlepool College of FE and host of the event, said: “Events like these are absolutely crucial to inspire the next generation of learners and show our female students how successful they can be. There is such a range of roles and opportunities in the construction industry, it's vital we encourage more women to consider looking at the industry as a career choice.”
Samantha Curtis, Senior Planner at LSH and Co-chair of NAWIC said: “NAWIC has done a lot with Hartlepool College of FE over the years. Our aim is to get girls to enter into the construction industry and of course, this is where it all starts. Events like this are a great way to bring together young women and women in the industry to get involved, to meet one another and share their experiences. It’s also a great way to learn new skills. Some of the girls doing engineering courses won’t get the opportunity to test out their joinery and bricklaying skills so it gives them a chance to try out all of the different elements that are involved in the industry.”
Klaudia Robinson, a Management Trainee at Seymour Civil Engineering and who is currently studying her HNC at Teesside University in conjunction with Hartlepool College of Further Education said: “Events like this give a great impression of the construction industry and prove that women are more than capable of doing jobs that are usually associated with men. This house building activity that I took part in was a good way to train and get working knowledge of the construction process.The construction industry is verymale-dominated and events like this help to break the misconceptions that it’s a career path just for men."
John Cartwright concluded: “There are fantastic young women who aspire to be architects and quantity surveyors and I believe it’s really important to get the message out there that we support these young women and get them along events such as this."
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