GRAHAM lends support to ‘Women into Construction’ initiative



Young women from across Central Scotland participating in the ‘Women into Construction’ programme have completed a three-day course to build a wind turbine facilitated by contractor GRAHAM.

(from left) ‘Women into Construction’ programme participants Charlie Douglas, Jade Thompson and Belle Love with Suzanne Stevenson, social impact advisor for GRAHAM

‘Women into Construction’ has been devised by Action for Children to encourage more females into the construction industry, where women currently only account for 14% of the workforce.

GRAHAM is a lead partner of the initiative and arranged for the group of young women to take part in the wind turbine project with ConStructEd Scotland at Sibbald’s training facility at Blackridge, to further develop their learning and gain practical, real life construction experience.

The hands-on course has seen the group manage all aspects of the wind turbine construction project from the ground up. Working outdoors in the elements, the team have built formwork, tested and poured concrete before erecting the turbine mast and assembling the electrics to generate power.

Each stage of construction has involved learning and using a variety of materials, tools and skills which can be put to good use in the working world when the programme ends. 

Across the duration of the seven-week training programme, the young women from Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian will learn about various sectors of the construction industry; each aspiring to secure an apprenticeship in their chosen field after they graduate from the course in May.

Suzanne Stevenson, social impact advisor for GRAHAM, said: “There is a significant gender imbalance in the construction sector, so initiatives like ‘Women into Construction’ provide a strong platform to show just how rewarding and varied a career in construction can be.

“As a company, GRAHAM looks to provide as many opportunities as possible to the younger generation, including apprenticeship schemes and funding further education. It’s been a pleasure to watch the young women progress throughout the course and we look forward to supporting them in their futures where possible.”

Charlie Douglas, 16, from Bonnyrigg, a participant on the ‘Women into Construction’ programme said: “The ‘Women into Construction’ programme has been a brilliant experience and opportunity for me. I grew up watching my dad and brother work in construction and I’ve loved being able to train in the same field, as part of an all-female group. The course has made me feel far more comfortable and confident as everyone is in the same position, learning the basics together.

“The wind turbine project was a great way to get some hands-on experience and now I’d really like to take this further and explore a career in the construction industry.”

GRAHAM is a member of the ‘5% Club’, an organisation consisting of companies committed to ensuring 5% of their workforce over the next five years is comprised of young people on structured learning schemes.



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