Courses in Hackney designed to encourage women to get involved in the construction industry and manual trades, are set to begin at the end of the month.
The “Introduction to Construction” course, that aims to increase the amount of women involved in construction and manual trades, will run its first five day course on November 25 and similar courses will take place in February of next year.
A spokesperson from Women and Manual Trades explained why these courses are important for the manual sector: “Women perform in the trades just as well a men, and indeed in some cases are better suited to working in certain client groups.”
The initiative follows a survey carried out by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, which showed only 1% of professionals in the UK’s manual trade workforce are female.
The spokesperson added: ‘”The number of women working in the trades and in construction hasn’t changed much in 40 years and we hope that the Network we’re working on establishing nationally will help improve the visibility of tradeswomen and encourage women into and to stay in the sector.”
The course is just one of many offered by London charity Women and Manual Trades, an organisation which concentrates on educating women in work opportunities available in construction, while also giving them hands on experience in a number of different trades such as carpentry and plumbing.
Professional electrician of eight years, Donna Lister who attended one of the organisation’s courses at the beginning of her career said that some women “find it intimidating to train with men” and believes the courses are “encouraging women who are just beginning their careers to start moving into different trades.”
Lister added: “The technical qualifications are where many women fall down. They tend to be quite good at learning the skills but without hands on experience its no good, these courses are good for them to find practical experience on sites.”
Women attending the courses will gain practical skills in the construction sector as well as advice on how to apply for work and create a CV. Everyone who completes the course will get a Construction Skills Certificate Scheme card and a health and safety qualification necessary to work on a building site.
Not only are these courses getting women on their feet in the sector, Women and Manual Trades focus on creating a community of women interested in pursuing this career.
“One of the thing WAMT are doing is developing a National Tradeswomen’s Network,” explains their spokesperson, “we’re putting tradeswomen in touch with each other locally so they can support each other.”
Women and Manual trades believe that these initiatives will provide tradeswomen with the “confidence and willingness to persevere in what can sometimes be a tough and challenging working environment.”
Hackney council funds the programmes that will be completely free to all attendees. Lunch will be provided and travel costs reimbursed for every participant.