ASSISTANT Quantity Surveyor, Olivia Radford of Winvic Construction Ltd, has offered female students practical advice and encouragement to seize a construction role in the countdown to the skilled workforce shortage that Brexit will likely bring.
She was speaking at the recent Women in the Built Environment event at Nottingham Trent University.
Moulton Park-based firm believes the industry could better prepare for Brexit by facilitating more graduates to enter, thrive and succeed. Winvic considers the following three tactics could result in increasing industry awareness to bridge the Brexit gap:
· Encourage those not already studying a construction industry discipline to apply for gap-year placements - Winvic is increasing its yearly placement intake from two to eight;
· Learn more about what millennials want from a permanent employer and experiment with communication methods;
· Better portray the sector to women, and use women like Olivia as positive role models.
Olivia, who has been with the national company since March, studied economics so could have entered any number of professions but quantity surveying was promoted as a career that offered variety, flexibility and progression, and she chose to take a BSc in that field.
She said: "Brexit and the uncertainty surrounding it seems likely to suggest an upcoming skills shortage, so making construction more appealing to young people is going to broaden the labour pool at this crucial time. I'm happy to be working for a company that is seriously considering the future, and also placing emphasis on reaching out to women."
·Half of all apprentices in the UK are women but that representation drops to only 2 per cent when it comes to female apprentices in construction²;
·At the end of last year just 12.8 per cent of the UK's construction workforce were women;
·Only 13 per cent of 16-26 year old women said they would consider a construction career, but this rose to 45 per cent after they had learned about the diverse roles available³.
Olivia added: "Working at Winvic has been a breath of fresh air as its inclusive approach has enabled me to quickly find the confidence to voice my professional opinions. My advice to women is to keep an open mind about entering the construction industry. There are some superb companies that are looking to attract true talent for ground breaking projects, and I hope 26 per cent of the UK's construction workforce will be women by 2020 as has been forecasted."?
To find out more about careers and opportunities at Winvic, contact Rebecca Schwarz on 01604 678960 or firstname.lastname@example.org