On Friday 19th May 15 women from London attended a free ‘trade’ taster workshop focused on Repairs & Maintenance and organised by Mears Group, the leading provider of maintenance services to social housing, working in partnership with Construction Youth Trust.After the success of the first five workshops in Nottingham, Cardiff, London, Canterbury, and Manchester a second London Taster Day was held at the Construction Youth Trust Training Centre in Bermondsey last week.
The series of workshops around the UK aims to provide a practical and inspiring learning experience for women who wish to ‘have a go’ at a trade before deciding on whether to pursue a career in building maintenance.The taster session consisted of practical training work in several trade skills including tiling, joinery, and painting and decorating led by a qualified trades trainer. The women were also informed of career opportunities in the Repairs & Maintenance sector and the progression and support systems open to them.All in all, the day was a huge success with 14 of the participants stating that they would now consider a career working in the building repairs and maintenance sector. Having met all the women on the day, Women into Construction are already working hard to source progression routes for the women.One of the participants commented: “The activities were great. I would like to develop my skills with more activities. It was fun, the teachers were excellent and gave me the motivation to further my career in repairs.”Gainor Keeton, Mears Project Manager, said, “Only 1% of construction trade operatives in the construction sector are female. We are determined to do better than this and to increase the number of tradeswomen across the social housing building maintenance sector. We also support other organisations to get the message out that there are good careers for women to be had in social housing maintenance. This is not only the right thing to do but we know that the best workforce is one which reflects the communities in which we serve.”Wendy Heller, Training, Development and Curriculum Manager at Construction Youth Trust commented, “15 women came through the door today with very little or no previous knowledge or experience of the building repairs and maintenance sector. After participating in various tasks and workshops, 14 confirmed they would now happily consider a career in the sector. Clearly, knowledge is the key here; knowledge of the industry itself, knowledge of potential opportunities, skills knowledge and the assurance that given these opportunities, women can enjoy a long, productive and successful career in the building repairs and maintenance sector.”