CONEL scoops Women into Construction Partnerships with Purpose Award - CCCG
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CONEL scoops Women into Construction Partnerships with Purpose Award

The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) has been named among the winners in this year’s Women into Construction awards.

CONEL scoops Women into Construction Partnerships with Purpose Award

The college won the Partnerships with Purpose Award in recognition of the success of its five-week programme with employers to support women gain work in the industry at the Women into Construction Celebration Event on 28 June.

According to the Construction Industry Training Board, 225,000 extra workers will be required to meet the demands of the UK construction industry by 2027. Currently, just 16 per cent of the construction industry workforce is women.

More than 200 women have taken the programme with CONEL since it began in 2018, with many securing on and offsite roles in the industry, with a record number enrolling this year.

The programme includes five days of construction-related training leading to a Health and Safety Level 1 Award and a CSCS card test, which is needed to work on site, followed by two weeks placement with an employer. It also includes help with overcoming barriers to employment, writing CVs and interview skills.

CONEL has run four programmes with Women into Construction this academic year. These include two with Wates, one with Acciona and another with Newham Council incorporating Bouygues, Morgan Sindall Construction, Hill Group, Higgins Partnerships, Kilnbridge, Modebest and O’Neill & Brennan.

This week some of the latest participants to have completed the programme returned to CONEL to receive their certificates and share their experience.

Lisa-Marie Mills, 35, has just completed the programme having previously worked in business administration for a cybersecurity company where her interest in the facilities management side of the job sparked her interest in construction.

She said: “Women into Construction gave me that basic understanding of what working in the industry entails, how a site runs, what would be required of me and what I would need to learn to fill those skills gaps.

“During my placement with Wates, I worked with a really great team who were able to show me different areas of the business and how it works. I liked being on site and working with different contractors and being able to absorb everything from everyone.

“Before I started this, I didn’t know how women got into construction and wasn’t sure it was somewhere I belonged. I know that is where I want to be now, and feel there is a real prospect of me getting in. I’m super excited about my future.”

This year’s programmes have provided skills training and employability support to 60 women looking to work in construction with 17 going on to secure employment in the sector so far.

Jo Weaver, HR Business Partner for Wates, said: “Inclusivity and diversity are really important to Wates. We want to make sure our workforce reflects the society in which we operate and the communities where we work. We’re very much looking to increase the number of women coming into the construction industry and remove any perceptions or barriers that may be preventing that happening.”

CONEL scoops Women into Construction Partnerships with Purpose Award

Shiv Emmimath, Head of Employability and Trade Union Education at CONEL, received the Women into Construction award at Carpenters’ Hall in the City, where he was joined by several women from the programme who are now working for Wates.

He said: “This year has been truly exceptional for us. We have conducted five outstanding Women into Construction programmes with a variety of different employers in the sector. The outstanding success of our initial collaboration with Wates led to more programmes being developed and delivered, and we are grateful for their support and contribution in helping women successfully gaining employment into construction.

“Our teachers are true experts in their respective fields, consistently going above and beyond to comprehend the specific requirements of employers. They deliver training that aligns with these needs, supporting our learners throughout their journey.”

“As a college, we take immense pride in our role of facilitating employment opportunities for women in an industry where they remain underrepresented. By actively supporting this agenda, we are making a significant impact, as demonstrated by our notable outcomes and the receipt of this esteemed award.”

Jacqui Wordsworth, Director of Business Development at Women into Construction, said: “We’ve been partnering with CONEL for a number of years in London now and have always been impressed with the quality and flexibility in delivering that provision to the needs of our learners and the employers we work with. It’s a fantastic relationship and one we felt was worthy of recognition.

“There is a huge gender imbalance in the overall make-up and diversity of the construction workforce in the UK, and it is important and sensible to encourage women, who have a fantastic array of skills, expertise and attributes, to seek and gain jobs in the industry.

“We are finding that now employers are engaging more in the conversation, partly because diversity and inclusion is now high on the agenda for all corporations, but also because they are recognising they need to think differently when it comes to skills shortages and recruitment practices.

“There are brilliant construction career paths for women and we want to make sure we can support as many of them into the sector as possible.”

Find out more about the Women into Construction programmes here.

More information on Construction courses and apprenticeships at CONEL can be found here.


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