New research has found that careers in construction trades are not being considered by women despite a strong public desire to see more females in the sector.
Shockingly (92%) of Northern Ireland have never encountered a female in any of the main construction trades roles of plumber, electrician, carpenter or builder even though (92%) of Northern Ireland would like to see more women in such roles.
The public want to see more women in the construction trades industry and trust them to deliver a good job. Proving that women’s concerns about not being taken seriously and facing prejudice are unfounded.Gary Measures, Managing director, Able Skills
Yet, (69%) of women surveyed from the region have never even considered a career in the industry.
The survey commissioned by Able Skills, specialists in construction training, found that only (8%) of the people surveyed from Northern Ireland had encountered a female in these roles.
Of those, (50%) described the service received as positive and would recommend the service to others. None reported a negative experience.
But why are there so few women considering a role within the construction trades industry?
Women reported that the career was never highlighted as an option for them to pursue.
More than seven in 10 (81%) women in Northern Ireland said no family, friends, careers advisors or teachers had ever discussed a career in the construction trades industry with them.
The biggest factors holding women from Northern Ireland back from pursuing a career in a role traditionally associated with the opposite sex were concerns about: the job being too physical (40%) not having the right skills (30%) and it being male dominated (20%).
However the shortage of women in construction trades could be a trend on the way out, as overall British women aged 25-34 were the most likely to consider a career in the construction trades (35%).
Gary Measures, managing director of Able Skills, said: “The public want to see more women in the construction trades industry and trust them to deliver a good job. Proving that women’s concerns about not being taken seriously and facing prejudice are unfounded.
“We really want to encourage more females to consider a career in construction trades and are really pleased to see that the younger generations may break down some of the barriers. In 2017 only 5% of Able Skills trainees were female but we really want this to change.”
Despite construction trades roles being perceived as male orientated, there is a high level of trust towards women working in the sector.
Almost a third (31%) of UK adults said they would trust a female construction trades person more to give them the best and most fair price, compared to just 14% who would trust a male more.
Able Skills offer construction training courses in electrical, plumbing, gas, plastering, carpentry, tiling, decorating and bricklaying.
To learn more about Able Skills training or courses please visit: www.ableskills.co.uk.