Industry News

Women in Construction event opens up possibilities to the next generation

Local school pupils were given an insight into the roles women play in the construction industry at Kirklees College’s Women in Construction event on Thursday 29th November.

The event showcased what options were open to women in this often male dominated environment and hoped to change the views of pupils who may want to pursue a career in this industry.

Statistics show that by 2020 a quarter of the workforce in the construction industry is estimated to be made up of women and although the industry is making positive strides there is a huge amount still to be done. Many women still have apprehensions about the industry and as it stands, only 11% of the entire construction industry is female.

Pupils engaged in a series of talks into areas including joinery, plumbing and electrical, with demonstrations and interactive quizzes available to test the pupils, and a site tour of the new £30m Barbara Hepworth Building for Huddersfield University, which is currently in construction by Morgan Sindall.

They heard from Cathleen Cockin of Slaithwaite (above, left) who runs Little Miss Electrical and gave up her career as a lawyer to pursue her dream career as an Electrician and is urging other women to consider learning a trade, as well as Plumbing lecturer Sarah Tully and Ex-Kirklees College apprentice Heidi Spivy who specialises in joinery and works for KNH.

Cathleen Cockin of Little Miss Electrical said of the event: “It was fantastic to engage with young women from our local schools through this event and, hopefully, to open their eyes to the exciting variety of careers available within the construction industry.”

Cathleen continued: “The construction sector relies heavily on skilled tradespeople and we need to tap into female talent to help ensure we have the right skills in place going forward.”

“We are hoping events like this open up the eyes of some of the female students who may have been considering a career in the construction industry or simply provide some information to those who are undecided on their career choice and give them the inspiration and drive to choose this career. There are so many roles available within this industry and it’s such a varied career path and we look forward to leading the ladies of the future in the construction industry,” said Employer Engagement Officer and Event Organiser Bernadette Baptiste.