National statistics show only 11 per cent of the construction industry consists of women - and of those only one per cent work on construction sites.
The Wolves at Work employment programme, run by City of Wolverhampton Council and Department for Work and Pensions, is promoting opportunities and pathways for females who want to get into the construction sector.
Working in partnership with City of Wolverhampton College and Women into Construction, the Wolves at Work pre-recruitment course enabled Catherine Waymouth of Park Dale and Chanelle Vernon of Spring Vale, to secure permanent employment with Jessup, who are also contracted by council-owned housing company, WV Living.
Catherine joined the Women into Construction programme after a gaining work experience with Speller Metcalfe on the recent Civic Centre essential repairs and maintenance project.
She then went on to a paid work trial with Jessup and has since been promoted to the full-time position of Assistant Site Manager.
Catherine, aged 45, said:
“Thanks to Wolves at Work and Women into Construction, Jessup were the company that finally took me seriously and offered me a permanent position after a three-month paid work trial. I'm so happy to be working in a great industry for such a brilliant company – they are pro female and support diversity, and I feel comfortable with everyone I have worked with so far.”
Chanelle was offered an apprenticeship with Jessup following a successful interview and work placement through the collaboration between Jessup and Women into Construction. Chanelle, aged 27, said:
“Working with Jessup has been the best decision I've ever made. The opportunities have been endless and the support from Black Country Impact, Wolves at Work, and the team at Jessup has been rewarding for me. For example, I started out doing a two-week painting and decorating course where I gained my CSCS card, I then went on to do a six-week foundation course with City of Wolverhampton College where I gained my necessary certificates to work on a building site. From there Women into Construction helped me into employment.”
Karen Campbell, Jessup Development Officer, said:
“Everyone at Jessup was delighted to have Catherine and Chanelle on the team. Both women excelled at their interviews and it became evident that they were the best candidates for our roles. Wolves at Work and Women into Construction have done a wonderful job in preparing Catherine and Chanelle for fulfilling careers in our exciting sector and we are thrilled that both have joined our team. The construction industry offers wide ranging and exciting opportunities to those who want to shine.”
Luana Bills, Women into Construction Project Manager, said:
“It is exciting to be a part of this effective collaboration with Jessup and the Wolves at Work team. Jessup have been supportive of our recruitment and training model and have taken a proactive approach to improving gender equality within their business by working in partnership with us. We are thrilled to have helped both Catherine and Chanelle realise their aspirations of working in the construction sector and we look forward to following their progression within the business.”
Councillor Lynne Moran, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:
“It is great to see the Wolves at Work programme and our city partners empowering young women in this way. It is yet another success story for the scheme which has already seen more than 3,200 people supported into work.”