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Girls get a taste for construction skills

Teenage girls have been enjoying a taste of working in the construction industry at an event aiming to encourage more girls to consider taking up a trade when they leave school.

The Girls into Construction event was organised by the College of West Anglia for year 8 girls studying at King Edward’s VII School and King’s Lynn Academy in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

Tom Griffith, plumbing tutor at the college, said: “One of the key aims was to encourage pupils to challenge stereotyping and other barriers to choice and opportunity, and to raise awareness of the number of females now training and working within the construction industry. From the feedback received the pupils had a really enjoyable day and it gave them food for thought concerning their future careers.”

The event attracted more than 25 girls, who heard about construction training from staff at builder RG Carter, which sponsored the day. The company’s client manager, Martin Randall, and design manager, Rebecca Cowan, highlighted the opportunities available across the construction sector, from trades such as bricklaying and plumbing to design. Emphasis was put on the importance of continuing with their education alongside their employment prospects.

The girls were given the opportunity to get their hands dirty and try practical workshops in trade skills such as plumbing, carpentry and brickwork, helped by college apprentices who are already training in these areas.

The event was put together by the college’s 14 to 16 department, which provides youngsters with information about the options open to them when they leave school.

Department head Melanie Wellard said: “It is now hoped that, as a result of the enjoyable experience, some of the girls may feel inspired to take up a construction course at the college with a view to then entering directly into employment in the building trade or going on to university.”