The construction industry is in the midst of a skills crisis which is drawing a lot of attention to how it can attract people, young and old, to a career in construction. It is also an industry that has always lagged behind when it comes to female representation, particularly in site-based roles. So, to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) we have gathered 11 statements from some women who work across the CCG Group each giving us an insight into why they chose a career in construction…
I always wanted to do a practical job but unfortunately never had any opportunities when I was younger and was faced with a number of hardships. I promised myself to return to education at some point and I did four years ago after becoming uninspired at work. I love that I can be part of creating buildings that make a positive contribution to people’s lives. Anne Okafor, Trainee Assistant Site Manager
Why construction?… Because an office job wasn’t for me. Hanna Muir, Trainee Construction Foreperson
I wanted to be a plumber because of a work experience placement I did focused on pipe fitting. Having this experience opened up many opportunities, one of which was becoming a plumber. Lauren McKenna, Apprentice Plumber
I have always been keen on buildings and interested to know what sort of processes are involved – from inception to completion. I am an ex British soldier. When I was on a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2008, I met a Quantity Surveyor (QS). He explained to me what QS’s do. After hearing what he said and having an accounting background, I thought this was the right path for me.
After leaving the army, I went to University and graduated in 2015. I enjoy my job because every day is different. You get a chance to work with different disciplines such as architects, site teams & sub-contractors. Even though it requires a lot of hard work, the huge reward is looking at a finished building and knowing that you were part of the team who built it. Tamala Ngwira QS
People assume that the construction industry is all about building sites however, there is so much more involved that goes on in the background before any building work can even begin.
CCG, as a construction company, is involved not only with social housing but also schools, nurseries, care homes and the refurbishment of St Andrew’s Hospice.
As a Buyer, I need to carefully manage my time across the sites I look after to ensure all material required to build is signed off and orders placed in plenty of time before being required on site.
I enjoy working for CCG and feel proud to be part of such a great number of projects that give something back to local communities. Linda Santi CCG Buyer
20 years in construction has been like a polar expedition. I started off hiking uphill with only my training and fantastic people around me. At times our methods fell short of other industries, but I knew we would see positive changes over the course of our journey. As we trekked onwards, I occasionally needed an ice axe. Persuading a furious bank manager in Peterhead that refurbishing his branch was non-negotiable – he threw my security pass out the door! Freezing cold miserable whilst managing the new ammunitions store at Faslane, wondering if things would get better (and of course they did). Other times I enjoyed moments in the sun.
My cheesy pride at Princess Anne opening the first project I managed in London or taking a group of construction students on a site visit to North Uist, and have them thank us for making their career ahead exciting. Next up? CCG bobsleigh team. Kirsty Kirke, Head of Pre-Contract Operations
Due to the recession back in 2010, I sold my shop and had to find a new career. From being a deli & coffee shop owner, I became an office manager in the administration office of a domestic PV (solar) installations company. The Government incentives for home owners to install a PV System on their property were cut. As such the domestic market died. Revised, new build housing regulations saved me. Using the skills and knowledge I gained in my previous role, I have now evolved into the role of Technical Engineer within Arc Tech. Being female in this industry is harder than it should be, I guess how you deal with it is down to how much you want to succeed. Giovanna Fionda, Technical Engineer
I chose construction because I can’t imagine anything else. I like design in architecture, and I like understanding how things come together, as well as developing my technical skills. Sunniva Johansen, Trainee Designer
When I was 17 years old, I was offered the opportunity to take part in a trade-based work experience placement. This provided me with an overview of the numerous construction trades available and further drove my ambition to work within the industry. Now 24, and having worked in a variety of different roles, I have progressed to the position of Safety, Health and Environmental Advisor. This role is challenging and involves site inspections, completion of traffic management plans, conducting risk assessments and the creation of method statements to ensure a safe workplace for all. Ensuring the safety of others is paramount, as is acknowledging the effect which our work has on the environment and attempting to positively impact on this.
Working within the construction industry is not just a job; I see it as a career which can provide you with opportunities to build on your own personal skills and allow you to gain experience in a variety of fields and disciplines. Not only has this been the case for me, but I have also been fortunate enough to extend my knowledge and qualifications and attend University to further my development; I am on track to graduate this summer with a BSc (Hons) in Health, Safety and Environmental Management. Gemma Brown, Health & Safety
I worked within the local authority sector for over 25 years covering many aspects of housing management and development. I have always had an interest in the built environment and the wider social benefits that new homes can achieve, particularly in transforming communities. Working in construction is rewarding and you get a chance to work with a great variety of people and regularly encounter new experiences – as I often say “every day is a school day”. One of the most rewarding parts of the job is seeing a project complete and thinking “I got that job and look at the difference it has made. Karen Shaw, Business Development Manager
I’ve worked in the Construction Industry for 25 years and I love the fact that I get to interact with lots of different people and the variety of work that I get the opportunity to be involved in. It’s rewarding to see people develop within an industry that provides a great platform for people to meet their career aspirations, whatever they might be.
One of my favourite parts of my job is working with the apprentices and the pride when they qualify and knowing I helped them on their journey. Lynn Stodart, Group HR Manager