Women in Construction events attract more than 250 schoolgirls across Wales
CITB demonstrates its commitment to inclusivity and diversity with a series of events to attract more women into construction.
The events took place earlier this month (7 July) at three different colleges stretching across Wales, including Swansea, Cardiff and Llangefni, and were attended by more than 250 schoolgirls combined.
The students were immersed in the world of construction, with the opportunity to hear first-hand experiences of women currently in successful construction careers. These ranged from Senior Design Managers to Quantity Surveyors, as well as talented individuals at the start of their career, such as a Trainee Civil Engineer. The discussions covered what a typical day’s work is like, and the routes taken to get to their positions.
The schedule of events was centred around giving the students a taste of what construction has to offer and allowing them to try their hand at a task, with employers hosting various activity sessions. These included looking at drone technology, a sustainable construction challenge and working at heights using a virtual reality headset. A key part of the activities also involved breaking down stereotypes and misconceived perceptions of construction, using myth-busting games and signposting to the Go Construct website.
Go Construct is an industry initiative, supported by the CITB Levy, which provides resources for anyone looking for a career in the construction and built environment sector. There is extensive advice on finding fulfilling, engaging roles for interested individuals, as well as the necessary guidance to help parents, careers advisors, and educators in supporting them. These are key influencers in a young person’s life, which is why the events also focused on creating a space for teachers and employers to connect.
Many of the companies that supported the events are members of the CITB Wales Social Value Network. The network facilitates collaboration and best practice sharing in the delivery of social value. While the number of women working in construction is on the rise, women currently only make up around 14% of construction industry professionals. With CITB’s recent Construction Skills Network report stating that an additional 225,000 workers are needed to meet demand by 2027, it’s crucial that efforts are focused on encouraging more women into the industry.
Darren Lynch, Leader of Construction at Idris Davies School, said: “Thank you for highlighting and inviting us to the CITB Women into Construction event at Swansea. It was genuinely the best careers event I have visited!
“Our girls were so enthusiastic and took so much from the activities provided. The guest speakers and company representatives were so inspiring. I’m looking forward to being able to take our next cohort in a years’ time!”
Claire Burns, Assistant Leader for Learning in Science at Cardiff West High School, said: “A fun-packed day which really opened the eyes of our pupils to the vast array of job opportunities available in the sector. It was a pleasure to see how well the girls engaged with the employers and their amazing activities.”
Sharon James, Cardiff and Vale College Principal, said: “We were delighted to host a CITB Women into Construction event. There are some amazing career paths available in the construction industry to young women across Wales and events like these provide a wonderful opportunity to promote this growth area.”
Julia Stevens, Engagement Director for Wales, said: “I am extremely passionate about us getting out and speaking directly to young girls about construction careers, which is why these events are an annual occurrence at CITB. The construction industry has a reputation for being muddy, manual, and male, making it extremely important that we convey how much the industry has to offer. There’s a wealth of exciting and rewarding opportunities waiting to be explored and they’re certainly not just for men!
“In the current climate, and with the way construction roles are progressing and evolving, the reality is that we need people with a diverse range of skills to fill these roles. It’s essential that we start attracting people from a wider range of backgrounds, so that we can recruit from a wider talent pool. I’m delighted with the turnout of this year’s events and look forward to continuing the conversations and work around this subject.”