A group of 55 female pupils from schools across Nottinghamshire had the opportunity to learn about a career in construction, thanks to an event hosted at our office in Edwinstowe and organised by the empa Training Academy.
Pupils aged 14 and 15 learnt about basic joinery, painting and decorating and engineering skills during practical workshops and spoke to other female apprentices and construction workers about their experiences of working in a traditionally male dominated industry. Top Valley Academy, Farnborough Academy, Bulwell Academy, Bluecoat Academy and Ashfield Comprehensive School took part in the Women in Construction event at Woodhead’s Office on 11 December.
Professionals and apprentices from Ashe Construction, Woodhead, G F Tomlinson, CITB, CT Skills Training Programme, The Dukeries Academy and Bramley Hedge Construction helped to deliver the workshops and offer students career advice on the day.
Jennie from Top Valley Academy said the joinery workshop was really enjoyable. “It was quite easy to saw into the wood. It was really fun and I have helped my dad build a shed before so maybe that’s why I’m quite good at it,” she said.
The empa Training Academy is part of the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) which helps public sector organisations procure construction work from approved contractors, saving them, and in turn the taxpayer, money.
Over the last year the academy has appointed and supported 40 apprentices, offered 89 work experience opportunities, delivered 1,513 training days, supported 77 professional qualifications and helped to create 146 construction jobs.
Ashreen Seethal, empa Training Academy co-ordinator said: “We are really pleased that so many schools and pupils have chosen to participate in the event today. We are really keen to promote opportunities for young women in the construction sector and dispel the myths about working in the industry. I was so pleased to see how many girls said they would consider a career in construction at the end of the day.”
Rhian Lawton, construction careers advisor at CITB helped to give the students an understanding of the range of jobs involved.
“We had some really good feedback from the students who didn’t realise the variety of roles for women in construction. There are around 2.6 million people who work in construction and only 320,000 of them are women, and there is a need for more.” she said.
“Events like this are a great opportunity to show that females can have a successful career in construction – whatever role they choose to do.”
Alan Coole, head of empa added: “The empa Training Academy is a unique collaboration providing enormous benefits that is helping to tackle the skills gap. It has already helped scores of young people secure a career in the construction industry – with jobs not only in the skills trades but also in admin and management.”