Construction sector looks to women to fill skills gap

A
campaign has been launched to combat the construction industry’s skills
shortages by encouraging more women to become builders.

‘Women
Building London’, run by Women’s Education in Building (WEB, hopes to recruit
1,400 women to help make up the 8,000 new recruits a year that the Construction
Industry Training Board (CITB) says will be needed until 2006 to avoid a
shortfall.

At
present less than one per cent of building workers in the UK are women.

The
scheme will advise women about the construction industry and choosing a trade,
and will offer information about training and support along with guidance on
finding work placements and jobs. It will also offer help to women setting up a
building or construction trade business.

Peter
Cooper, business manager at Reed Engineering, said modern technology and
working practices mean physical size and strength is no longer an issue on the
construction site.

"There
is much evidence to suggest the improved planning and communication skills of
women would help in delivering projects to budget and on time," he said.

By Michael Millar

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