Twelve women in Northern Ireland are set to take up courses in joinery, brickwork, plastering and plumbing.
The women are being supported through their studies by Women’stec, an organisation that enables women to return to employment in non-traditional sectors, and that contributes to the reduction of the skills shortage in the Construction and the ICT industries.
“This is a great opportunity, not only for these women, but for the construction industry as a whole,” said Anne McVicker, chief executive of Women’stec. “There is currently a serious skills shortage and this programme gives the green light to women who haven’t previously been offered these career options.”
The organisation’s new programme, “Trading Places Citywide” was launched by comedian Nuala McKeever in March, and hopes to address the fact that just 3% of women in Northern Ireland are working in the construction industry at craft level. The project is funded by the Peace II programme and the future joiners, bricklayers, plasterers and plumbers will be attending Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education.