Infrastructure partnership hub South West is throwing its weight behind a new initiative which is aimed at encouraging greater female career participation in the construction sector.
In partnership with its main contracting partners – Kier, Graham, Morrisons and Morgan Sindall – hub South West is supporting the Females into Construction course, facilitated by New College Lanarkshire.
The course, which has no formal entry requirements, will be open to 16 female S5 pupils, and provides a National 5 qualification in Construction Crafts. On completion, students can progress to pre-apprenticeships or progress onto a professional career route of higher national certificate level.
Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of hub South West, said:
“The course aims to encourage young females who are interested in a career in construction, while highlighting the varying career paths into the industry.
“Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to visit sites managed by the supporting contractors, where they can observe a variety of construction roles in action.”
New College Lanarkshire, which recently was rated among the UK top three institutions for skills at WorldSkills UK, will run the course from April 30 to June 29 at its Motherwell Campus.
The course will include painting and decorating, masonry work, carpentry and joinery as well as visits to live construction sites, ambassador talks, visits to design offices at regional headquarters, CSCS specific safety training and work placements.
Students who are interested in pursuing a professional career path in construction may have the opportunity to join the college’s Built Environment or computer aided architectural design and technology.
Amanda Wright, Social Impact Manager for Kier Construction Scotland said:
“We are delighted to support this important initiative. All of our sites are looking forward to sharing our knowledge and showcasing the wide range of diverse and very rewarding career opportunities that exist for women, both within Kier Construction Scotland, and throughout the construction industry.”
Morrison Construction Community Skills Manager, Jim Johnstone, said;
‘‘We are proud to be part of this great initiative to help encourage more women into our industry and we are excited to showcase the wide variety of careers that are available in construction.
‘’Diversity in the workforce will only make our industry stronger as it encourages greater creativity and collaboration in the workplace.’’
Stuart Parker, managing director of Morgan Sindall in Scotland, said: “We’re committed to promoting the construction industry and the rewarding careers it can to offer to all young people; but encouraging more female entrants to join the workforce is of particular importance.
“At Morgan Sindall, more than 18% of our personnel are women. That’s an increase from 10% two years ago and substantially higher than the national sector average of 12%. As an industry, there’s still work to be done.
“Close collaboration between businesses, schools and colleges is critical to effecting real change and we’re proud to be a key partner in hub South West’s initiative.”
Debbie Rutherford, regional community benefit advisor at GRAHAM Construction, said: “It’s fantastic to be involved with this course. We are very much looking forward to meeting the students and helping them throughout their journey.
“It’s important to us that young people, no matter their gender, are educated on the various routes to employment and are inspired and encouraged along the way.”
Hub South West was established in 2012 to deliver value-for-money on public sector community-based infrastructure across Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway.
Since it was established, it has successfully carried through to completion projects to the value of £375 million and the partnership has a target figure of £1 billion by 2022.