Building up Women in Construction

Out of the many projects I am supporting at the moment, Women in Construction is one of my favourites.

For the past couple of months, I have been working with Bob Noseda, a construction industry expert, and Julia Lee, director of regeneration organisation O-Regen’s ‘Women into Construction’ programme, to see how we can help promote the construction industry to more women in Waltham Forest.

Attracting more women into construction related jobs such as plumbing, engineering, and painting and decorating, is not just a “politically correct” gesture; the latest reports from the Mayor of London’s economics team, calculate that within the next five years, seven out of all new jobs will need to be filled by women if we are not to suffer a severe skills shortage.

Bob Blackman of the TGWU,CSCS and CITB

As part of our campaign, I invited Bob Blackman (pictured above), the Transport & General Worker’s Union’s national official for construction, but also the deputy Chair of the formal construction qualification board, CSCS, and a board member of the Construction and Industry Training Board (CITB) – which is the government’s official advisory body on all matters relating to construction – to meet Julia, Bob Noseda (pictured below) and the leader of the Council and learn more about about our ideas. Bob also spoke to local female trainees and youth service Connexions.

Construction enthusiast Bob Noseda

With the Olympics on Leyton’s doorstep, it is vital that the challenge to recruit more female construction experts receives more attention. I hope that Waltham Forest will be the Olympic borough that leads the way on significantly increasing the number of local women trained and employed in construction.

Julia Lee from O-Regen
For more information about the Women into Construction initiative please contact Julia Lee from O-Regen (pictured right) on 020 8988 8844 or


Chairing the meeting
Chairing the meeting

With Connexions advisor Cassandra and construction trainee Sarah
Visiting the Oliver Close site with Connexions advisor Cassandra and construction trainee (and grandmother!) Sarah

8 thoughts on “Building up Women in Construction”

  1. I have recently finished and passed my city and guilds 6129 in plumbing and started level 3.
    I live in a suburb of Birmingham and would love to be in contact with people in this area who are in the trades.
    There should be more help and advice for women trying to get a placement or job.

    Keep up the good work ladies.

  2. Well done, Sarah! That’s fab and I wish you all the best in finding a job. The government has now recognised that it needs to give more women like you help and so Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, announced a £20 million fund a couple of months ago to support projects to help women find employment in the plumbing, P & D, engineering and construction fields. I will be meeting Claire Curtis Thomas MP, herself a former engineer and chair of the House of Commons All Party Parliamentary group on Women in Construction, next week, to talk to her about this very issue. Claire is always keen to hear from women working in construction. Send me an email and I’ll put you in touch with her! Well done again! Miranda

  3. I have noticed a slight softening of atitudes in the british construction industry in the last 50 years – but no where near enough.

    It is still a dinosaur. It is and always has been way behind other industries in technology.

    Now we have a sever shortage of engineers we cannot waste half of our population. A greater take-up of technology would I belive create a more level playing filed and encourage young girls to take an interest in the industry.

    The ladies would also certainly soften the still very agressive macho attitudes prevalent in the industry.

    Bring on the ladies.

  4. Hello,
    I am an architect, PhD and executive director of SolXO Ltd. a company with activities in design and construction of high quality, low cost and low energy housing. I wish to help you to get more and more women into construction and building more houses by women for women.

    Happy Easter,

  5. hi Miranda,

    I am currently studying towards my CERT ED/PGCE into teaching at Blackburn College, where I now teach Brickwork. for my current assignment I am looking at encouraging women into construction, paticularily Brickwork, i am trying to design a poster to disribute to schools,womens institutes, pin up around town etc. I wondered if any types of posters exsisted. I think colleges should work with the goverment ,citb etc and set up taster days in colleges for women only, and make funding available to push this foward, especially on adult courses for them to retrain.Look foward to hearing from you and have a nice easter.


  6. Hi Miranda,

    After working on site for over 10 years as a site manager and such like I now work to try and get Women into and retained in construction. Its a complex area with many issues – I would love to work with you on any projects you have coming up, please feel free to get in touch.


  7. As a tutor of Bridgwater FE College, working in the Construction Section, I am about to become involved in a project to visit secondary schools in our immediate area to promote and mentor possible female applicants to consider a future career in the construction. I would welcome any suggestions or illustrations of posters or marketing material which could be distributed in classrooms prior to my visit. Many thanks!

  8. hello im currently a student at University currently in the 2nd year of the BSc in Building Surveying. Ian a single parent with 4 children although its tough for me i think im doing something very worthwhile for me and the construction industry. I would be very grateful if you could forward me any information regarding women in the construction industry such as posters, leafl;eats or anything else relating to that. I look forward to hearing from you very soon thank you. AMO.X

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