Why you should be a builder: women in construction

152 builder thumb.jpgOkay it’s not an obvious career for the lay-deez, but the government is trying to encourage more young women into the construction industry. Currently there’s a skills shortage in Britain for skilled manual labour – from plumbers to woodworkers and only 10% of construction jobs go to women. Putting two and two together, and considering youth unemployment rates at the minute, the Government reckons it would be beneficial to get more girls into the skilled trades.

They held an event Women into Construction in Bedforshire last week with the intention of persuading young women to consider skilled trade as a career option.

Skilled manual work takes a bit of intelligence and lateral thinking and I can only imagine that it would be more fun than working in a call-centre, which is what I did in my young and footloose days.

Joyce Watson, a Welsh Assembly member says that the advantages of construction work for women are quite good: it pays well and the freelance nature means that it suits women who need to juggle work-life committments, or children as they are sometimes known.

Train4TradeSkills had a stall at the recent Women in Construction conference, they run professional training courses in construction trades. They quoted one of their students who is training to be an eco-plumber: Michelle, aged 31, who is doing her practical training in the college’s Luton offices, wants to be an eco-plumber:”I believe in protecting the world and my course is helping me focus on that aspect of being a plumber.” she said.

Worth considering? check out the National Association of Women in Construction

Anna Leach


  • And you know what this is not the first time – I did a Civil Engineering course back in the mid eighties thanks to the now defunct Greater London Council – had a job and everything til Maggie Thatcher effectively made me redundant…. And very few big Civil Engineering companies in 1986 would employ a woman on site (mixed portaloos still don;t exist). So I went back to Secretrial work. Good luck to the Students of 2010!

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