92% of Northern Ireland haven’t encountered female electrician, plumber or builder

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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.