Female Trainees support West Hampstead Women’s Centre

Female Camden residents take part in a Budding Builders carpentry course at Kings Cross Construction Skills Centre

After four weeks of training, three Camden women have successfully completed a Budding Builders Carpentry course. During their time with the Trust trainees gained an OCN London Level 1 Health and Safety in a Construction Environment. Alongside the theory work the trainees had an opportunity to expand their practical skills by participating in a carpentry workshop. They crafted a 4-joint frame and built a planter-seat for a local Camden charity; the planter-seat was donated to West Hampstead Women’s Centre at the end of the course. 

Extensive partnership work with a variety of different Camden organisations was involved in order to source the women for this project. The emphasis for recruitment was to engage with women-only organisations. This was to ensure we reach out to women most in need of training opportunities and open up the construction industry as a viable career choice for females. Referrals for the course came from New Horizon Youth Centre, HSP, Women at the Well, Kings Cross Construction Skills Centre and self-referrals from our recent campaign #NotJustForBoys

The women had an opportunity to expand their knowledge of the industry by attending a SISK development on Maiden Lane. They also had the chance to discover how other organisations can support them, these included West Hampstead Women’s Centre, Kings Cross Construction and Women into Construction. Kath Moore, a representative from Women into Construction came to speak to the group about what they offer and had one-to-one sessions with all trainees.    

The industry needs more women! How can we encourage more women to take up opportunities in construction?  

A recent report by the Smith Institute, supported by CITB and Wates Giving, showed that ‘only 11% of construction workers are female and only 1% of those are on-site’. The Trust are trying to change this by making the industry more accessible for women and delivering practical trade courses in a comfortable learning environment. 

Our course in Camden aimed to provide a unique opportunity for female residents with an interest in construction, but don’t know where to start. The course was taught by an experienced female carpenter, who is an inspiring role model for young women. Throughout our teaching practices we encourage women to take up professional trades, either by further training, work experience or employment beyond our courses. We can be a motivational tool for those who feel apprehensive about going into a male dominated industry.   

The Results

The women who came to the Trust were not only looking for practical skills or a CSCS card, they were looking to build their confidence and self esteem. Some expressed that at times in their life they have experienced depression and low self-worth. Throughout the course, our trainees’ confidence improved and the realisation of what skills they can offer an employer became apparent the more our team supported and encouraged them.   

Other achievements:

  • All course completers achieved the OCN Level 1 Health and Safety
  • All course completers passed their CSCS test
  • One of our trainees will receive intensive support from Construction Youth Trust and Kings Cross Construction, and a meeting has been set up to discuss her furture career path 
  • One trainee is getting support with applying for apprenticeships in Motor Vehicle Maintentance 
  • For trainees who didn’t complete the course because of personal circumstances, they will be informed of the next projects coming up in 2016, when it is a more appropriate time to participate     

"We would like to say thank you and congratulations to Tracey, Shannon and Taz for completing the course successfully and donating a beautiful bench-planter to us. It’s a lovely addition to our garden and will enable women with disability to enjoy gardening whilst sitting down on the bench. We would also like to say thank you to Nicola and Wendy from the Trust for the wonderful new partnership. We look forward to collaborating with you again in the future."

West Hampstead Women’s Centre Team, Partner Organisation 

"The teacher made it a very relaxed and interesting learning environment. The feeling of building something useful is wonderful. I’ve never made anything in my entire life, I feel proud!"

Tracey, Camden Trainee 

Construction Youth Trust is running similar Camden courses in the beginning of 2016. We are encouraging Camden residents to take up the opportunity to gain practical skills, achieve a Level 1 H&S Qualification and get a CSCS card. If you are interested are know of anyone who is then please get in contact. 

For more details please contact the London team - 0207 467 954 / london@constructionyouth.org.uk