‘She Built That’ Wellingborough Prison Site Tour
Kier in partnership with Banagher Precast Concrete recently hosted three young women on site at Wellingborough Prison as part of an Enterprise Ireland initiative ‘She Built That’.
The initiative was launched in conjunction with Newham Workplace last year to assist women who are seeking to change career direction and are interested in entering the construction industry by giving them the opportunity to learn more by offering them mentorship, site tours, BIM demonstrations, work experience and potential employment.
Wellingborough was the perfect opportunity for them to visit a large-scale project employing cutting-edge technologies and extensive use of offsite manufacturing. A number of women from the site team took the time to meet with the candidates to explain how they got into construction, their roles and opportunities, with their passion for the industry inspiring the visitors.
Caroline Cavanagh, Banagher Precast Concrete, “We would like to thank the Kier site team for giving the candidates a first-hand insight into a working site and the many various career opportunities available to women in construction. Speaking to the young women after the event they all had a renewed energy and were more confident about taking the next step into construction.”
Currently women only represent 13% of the construction industry workforce and the Construction Industry Training Board estimates that by 2024 an additional 168,500 new workers will be needed which means that hopefully this percentage will rise.
Unfortunately the perception of the construction industry is somewhat distorted with the view that it is primarily labour-based and therefore not conducive to women. But there are opportunities for women in a vast range of roles from project management to engineering, the industry needs planners, designers, managers, marketers, estimators etc. – construction is facing a huge employment gap which women and students in general should be taking advantage of.
“The construction industry is experiencing a major workforce crisis which is set to deteriorate even further with recent Brexit implications and major upcoming infrastructure projects. It is the responsibility of contractors and supply chain companies alike to ensure the future of construction by advocating apprenticeships, through education and training, by breaking gender bias and by actively encouraging people into the industry – the opportunities are there, we just need to offer some guidance through great initiatives such as this,” said Caroline Cavanagh.