Innovation Birmingham and Thomas Vale have run a joint initiative to encourage local, long-term unemployed women to consider a career in the burgeoning construction industry.
Two Women into Construction events have been held at the Innovation Birmingham Campus during 2015, with the main programme content delivered by Midlands headquartered Thomas Vale, which is part of Bouygues UK. The first event was held at the iCentrum construction site, which Thomas Vale is on track to handover in March 2016. The second event was held at the Innovation Birmingham Campus’ flagship Faraday Wharf building, which included information on the career opportunities available in construction and an inspirational talk from Thomas Vale’s Assistant Site Manager on iCentrum, Maryam Crossan.
Women into Construction is an independent organisation that promotes gender equality by providing bespoke support to women thinking about a career in the construction industry. It also helps contractors by providing a forum for them to train and recruit highly motivated women. The non-profit organisation works with referral agencies, construction colleges and universities to find training and employment opportunities for women. Attendees at the Innovation Birmingham Campus events were referred by South and City College, Job Centre Plus, Midland Heart, Crisis and Stanfords Training.
Charlotte Crossley, Innovation Birmingham’s Head of Operations and Communications, said: “It was great to work with Thomas Vale on this Women into Construction initiative. Being centrally located in Birmingham, the Innovation Birmingham Campus is very accessible, which is a clear benefit to those who are looking to come out of long-term unemployment. In addition to the career opportunities in construction, the events have also provided an opportunity to speak to a new audience about our support programmes for tech start-ups.
Maryam Crossan is a staunch advocate for the construction industry and has been involved with Bouygues UK’s female staff network, Welink UK. She added: “Despite various initiatives to encourage more women into construction jobs, there is still a noticeable gender divide between the number of males and females pursuing skilled, manual careers.
“At Bouygues UK, we’re committed to encouraging more women into the industry and our work with Innovation Birmingham and Women into Construction is key to this. The events provided us with a fantastic opportunity to meet with young, unemployed women living in the local area – most of whom would probably never have considered a career in construction before. We were able to raise awareness of the many potential roles and job opportunities that could be available to them in what, to me, is an exciting industry; as well as talk about future employment opportunities.
“With the completion of iCentrum just a few months away, the attendees also had the opportunity to see a live construction site in motion and find out for themselves what it takes to deliver a building like this on a day to day basis.”
For more information on Women into Construction, please visit: www.womenintoconstruction.org