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Women build new perception of roles in the construction indu

  While the latest official figures on apprenticeships (for 2016 – 2017) show that only 620 females entered the sector that year compared with more than 20 000 men, unofficial figures and anecdotal evidence paint a very different and more positive picture.

  According to construction careers website Go Construct, some 37% of new entrants into the construction sector coming from higher education are women. It also estimates that 14% of the total workforce in this sector are now female.

  These statistics reflect the experience of ASW Property Services, a property services specialist covering Wales, the Midlands and the South West of England, in recent years. ASW is keen to champion women leading on roles that were once traditionally filled by males. In recent years, multiple members of female staff at ASW have developed into such roles, such as site manager, skilled plasterer and plumber.

  Kelly Martin was employed by ASW as on-site administrator in September 2014, through Beyond Bricks and Mortar, an important initiative to secure community benefits from all suitable council activities in the City and County of Swansea for the lasting benefits of the community.

  On her first day in the site office, Kelly dealt so effectively with a tenant’s queries of a difficult nature, that she was promoted to tenant liaison officer (TLO), covering several sites across Swansea and Bridgend. In November 2015, she trained as a site supervisor, completing her Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme course, carrying out this role as well as her TLO role.

  Talking about her development and progression since working with ASW, Kelly Martin comments:

  “I have really delved into the roles I have been given while working with ASW. I had no relative experience in these job roles before working here, so I appreciate how the company champions women working in such a traditionally heavily male dominated industry.

  “Completing all of the training courses while maintaining my role has given me the expertise and experience I need to continue developing and progressing on this career path. It proves you do not have to be a male to succeed in the construction industry and I am living proof of that.”

  Lisa Kostromin, plasterer at ASW, completed a level one diploma in Plastering with NPTC College in 2016. Her second year involved working on site, where Cyfle Building Skills Shared Apprenticeship Scheme matched Lisa with ASW in 2017. Since, Lisa has completed her Level 2 NVQ qualification and took part in a Skills Build Event, where she competed with colleges in the region. Lisa went on to be a finalist in the Welsh regionals and was the only female plasterer in the competition. Lisa’s efforts won her the position of runner up for the South Wales region, competing against Level 3 contestants.

  As a result, NPTC nominated Lisa for Student of the Year UK 2018, where Lisa secured second place. Lisa is now a multi-skilled plasterer on ASW’s contracts that involve kitchens and bathrooms. Driven by her successes, Lisa also learnt other trades while working on site with ASW and is determined to continue developing her skillset – with an aim to do supervisory in the future.

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