AS PART OF National Apprenticeship Week, one Swansea-based construction company has showcased the growing diversity and opportunities for women in a sector traditionally associated with men.
While the latest official apprenticeships figures (2016-2017) state that only 620 females entered the sector compared with over 20,000 men, unofficial figures and anecdotal evidence paint a very different and positive picture.
According to construction careers website, Go Construct, 37% of new entrants entering into the construction sector from higher education are women; it also estimates that 14% of the UK’s construction workforce are female.
These statistics reflect the experience of property services firm, ASW Property Services, who are keen to champion women leading on roles that were once traditionally filled by males.
Kelly Martin was employed by ASW as on-site administrator in September 2014. On her first day, Kelly dealt so effectively with a tenant’s queries of a difficult nature, that she was promoted to tenant liaison officer (TLO), covering several sites across Swansea and Bridgend. In November 2015, she trained as a site supervisor, completing her Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme course, carrying out the job alongside her TLO role.
On completion of her Site Management Safety Training Scheme course in September 2018, she was promoted to site manager. Since then, she has been running sites including work on chimneys, balconies and door voice entry – to name but a few.
Lisa Kostromin completed her Level 1 Diploma in Plastering with NPTC College in 2016. The college nominated her for Student of the Year UK 2018, where she secured second place. Lisa is now a multi-skilled plasterer on ASW’s contracts that involve kitchens and bathrooms.
Jennifer Champion, who is multi-trade qualified, including working on plumbing projects (City and Guilds level 2 qualified), joined ASW in January 2018. She said, “I really enjoy working on projects that are traditionally undertook by male staff – for example, plumbing
“I’m excited to see where the future could take me – I have high aspirations of developing my career path to quantity surveyor or site manager and I know I am on the right path to get me there.”
Managing director of ASW, Anthony Thomas, said: “Equality should be a priority in every business, and we strive to make sure the construction industry is no different. I am very passionate about helping female staff develop and progress into roles they have a drive for – and our female staff are absolutely fantastic.
“It is great to see the construction industry make way for gender equality – we still have a long way to go, but it’s heading in the right direction.”