From education to employment

Building College offers free taster days for women to help narrow skills gap

Leeds College of Building (@WeAre_LCB) is offering women over the age of 16 the opportunity to sample Construction Crafts courses free of charge. The taster events are designed for those considering a career change or wanting to develop new skills.

Currently, women make up around 14% of construction industry professionals in the UK. Yet, according to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), it is estimated that the sector needs to recruit more than 217,000 new workers between now and 2025 to support its current activity. The issue is worsened by an aging workforce, with 22% of the UK’s construction workforce aged over 50.

As a result, three taster days are now available in Wall & Floor Tiling (27 October), Carpentry & Joinery (28 October), and Painting & Decorating (29 October). The female-only taster events will run at the College’s North Street Campus from 9.30am-2.30pm each day.

Julie Theakston, Student Services Manager at Leeds College of Building, said:

“We’re delighted to host these taster days and show more women the interesting and varied careers available in construction. We’ve specifically chosen these subject areas as they’re great professions in which to work. They also offer practical skills for those who just want to expand their skillset or try something new.

“Our past female students have an excellent track record of high achievement. Many have gained managerial posts, worked on big construction projects with global firms in areas such as civil engineering or architecture, or won industry accolades. For example, past student Nicole Germaine recently won the national Painting & Decorating Association (PDA) Senior Apprentice of the Year award at the Premier Trophy Awards in London.”

The Construction Skills Network (CSN) 2021-25 forecast states that the construction industry’s annual average recruitment requirement is 4.4% a year between now and 2025 – far outstripping the prediction of an annual growth rate of just 1% over the same period. It is expected that construction professionals, technical staff, and construction managers will all be highly sought after.

Julie continued:

“The latest national news reports yet more employers struggling to find skilled staff. It’s vital that we help to narrow the gap and showcase excellent progression routes available in the construction industry. These taster days are a fantastic opportunity for more women to try something new, learn about a fulfilling career pathway, boost industry skills, and promote diversity in the workplace.”

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