Creating homes and places where people want to live

Nottingham women supported into construction jobs

Over 500 women in Nottingham have been helped by a Nottingham City Homes programme that gets more women into trades jobs. 

The Women in Construction (WiC) programme is celebrating five years of helping women in the city look into careers like joinery and plastering.  

The scheme aims to get more women into trade and constructions jobs, and they offer a series of free women-led workshops, that allow women to find out what it’s like to be a plumber, electrician, joiner, plasterer, gas engineer, painter and decorator, or bricklayer.

One person who has really benefited from the programme is Claire Lilley from Sneinton. Claire go involved with Women in Construction back in December 2018 as she wanted to develop herself and her skills.

She attended one of the Taster Days and said she enjoyed it so much it gave her the determination and enthusiasm to apply to work for NCH.  As a result, following the application and interview process, Claire was given a position at NCH as an Apprentice Plumber.

She started her apprenticeship in September 2019 and since joining NCH she has gone on to be involved in the Women in Construction programme, encouraging others to come along and enjoy the taster days.

Claire said: “Women in construction is very important to me and I'm passionate about getting more women into construction work. It was only by meeting with a NCH employee that I found out about WIC and before that I'd never considered a career in construction because I never even knew it was an option. 

“I want all women to know that is not only an option but actually a fantastic career choice and that's what WIC is all about. Since starting my apprenticeship, I have been amazed by my own capabilities and gained enough confidence to tackle a lot of my own repairs, like the tap that's been dripping for three months, instead of having to pay someone else.”

Claire also recently won the Outstanding Personal Development award in the NCH Tenant and Leaseholder Awards 2020.  You can see her winners video here.

Abigail Greenwood, who is a Construction Employability Officer at NCH has supported Claire from the start and was the one who nominated her for the Tenant Awards. She said: “Claire is passionate, interested and was determined to become an apprentice after attending one of the taster days. She wanted to learn new skills, learn a trade and wanted to develop herself.  As a mum herself, she saw her children grow up and she wanted to do something that she would enjoy and receive job satisfaction.”

Nick Murphy, Chief Executive at Nottingham City Homes, said: “The Women in Construction programme is an important part of our commitment to see more women in trade and construction jobs. Apprentices like Claire have seen the benefit of the programme and now she is working towards a career at NCH, and in a profession that is usually male dominated.

“The fact we have helped over 500 women enter the programme and enjoy these Taster Days, is a real achievement and I hope Claire’s story encourages more women to look into our Women in Construction programme.”

The programme hosts a number of free Taster days throughout the year, even with COVID-19, NCH are still hosting these sessions – socially distanced. You can find out more here.