For a long time construction work and sites have been male dominated with scant regard for women’s capabilities or interests. However, this is changing albeit slowly, and more women are entering the construction industry. This increased interest has resulted in the formation of a number of workshops that teach basic construction skills to girls who can then decide if they’ve enjoyed the experience sufficiently to consider a career in construction.
One such organisation that recently held a construction workshop for girls was the Trust. The training was held at the Trust’s specialised training facility in Wendover and the girls learned the basics of brick-laying, plastering, tiling and painting. The workshop was hosted by three of the Trust’s trades people who were on hand to advise and assist the girls with the activities. Les Evans was one of the trades people at the workshop who were also actively involved in encouraging the girls to apply for the Trust’s apprenticeship scheme. The training day was held after an information day that the girls have previously attended and which proved to be very successful.
The UK is not the only country where girls and women are showing an increased interest in construction; similar training days and workshops are being held in the US. Recently one such workshop was held in Lansing, Michigan, where teenage girls were introduced to the basics of construction and carpentry. This is done in an all female environment where women teach other women how to use power tools, measure beams and construct basic items. Not only does this teach the girls something new but it is also a step forward in terms of gender equality.
With more women donning ladies overalls and getting their hands dirty in the construction industry, we can expect to see an increase of women in the workforce. Even if the girls choose to follow a different career path, the skills and knowledge learned as a result of these training days will go a long way towards making them feel empowered and giving them the confidence to create and fix things on their own.