Ahead of this year's International Women's Day on Monday 8 March, Northamptonshire County Council is celebrating the inspirational female students who have taken part in its free training in construction skills.
The training programme which has funding in place from the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver courses until the end of March, has seen women complete the courses, demonstrating that despite construction being a male dominated industry and stigma around women working in construction roles, careers in this sector are gender equal and women can bring a strong skill set to the variety of jobs available.
With the theme of 'Choose to Challenge' for this year's worldwide event, our female construction training learners are doing just that and proving they are strong and hard-working and capable of working in construction roles regardless of their gender.
Councillor Jason Smithers, County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Place said:
We are seeing many more women taking up roles in the construction industry which is great to see, and events such as International Women's Day are a brilliant and important way to highlight this and celebrate achievements.
Construction is a very empowering industry to be in, and women aren't any less capable than men of working in the job roles available. There is something suitable for every person, and every skill set regardless of whether you are male or female.
I'm pleased to see women graduating from the training programme as well as men, and look forward to hearing how they are getting on as I know they all have an exciting future ahead of them."
Priyanka Das from Kettering has previously graduated from the Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology with a civil engineering qualification. Priyanka moved to the UK in 2017 where she has continued her studying and has recently completed the Northamptonshire Construction Skills Training Programme.
I wanted to build on my qualifications and gain essential construction skills and my CSCS card to help move my career along where I hope to secure a job in civil engineering, so when I saw the courses advertised I signed up straight away.
I wasn't nervous about doing the training even though I knew it would be male dominated; gender shouldn't be the deciding factor on pursuing a goal to work in the construction industry. I saw it as a great opportunity and I was excited to join so I could build the skills I need for my career in the sector.
Construction is a dynamic industry with lots of opportunities, and teams within it are diverse, more so now than ever. Women can bring many skills including empathy, problem solving, organisation and communication which I believe can improve the quality of work, and we are great at boosting team spirit.
The training has been brilliant and an excellent chance to take the first step to building your construction career, your gender shouldn't stop you! I'm looking forward to seeing where it will take me."
The Northamptonshire Construction Skills Training Programme is available for anyone aged 18 and above with no previous experience of working in the industry. People have until Friday 5 March to sign up to the courses which are being delivered in conjunction with local training provider Evolve Your Future and in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board.
With the current national lockdown restrictions in place, training is being delivered through online sessions with COVID-19 secure classroom based testing, and site visits are arranged for students in line with the latest COVID-19 guidance and advice.
Find out more and register for the training
International Women's Day