Each year, International Women’s Day provides a reminder for organisations to continue challenging stereotypes, broaden perceptions, and celebrate women’s achievements.

Through our Women in Construction programme, funded by St Helens Chamber, Torus Foundation is embracing that very opportunity.

Since 2019, over 30 ladies from our St Helens and Warrington neighbourhoods, have successfully completed the programme which provides an insight into the construction industry. From bricklaying to plastering over 2 1/2 weeks, female participants take part in practical sessions alongside classroom based learning highlighting transferable skills for the working environment.

Some of the ladies join with limited employment experience or perhaps low confidence, while others are looking to embrace the chance to rediscover previous skills and their potential, and return to work.

Our Employment Officers have worked closely with the ladies so they feel comfortable to even begin day one and throughout the short course, which involves learning with instructor Ste, many finish with a sense of purpose once again.

Trynette from Newton (pictured below on the right) explains, “It feels amazing to see what I’ve achieved. I’m already used what I’ve learnt back at home. It’s not just about the skills though, but how good I feel about myself, it’s been therapeutic.”

Helen from Warrington (pictured above bottom left) adds, “The group of ladies I’ve been part of have worked so well together, making sure we supported each other along the way. We feel empowered realising what we’re capable of.”

Due to the ratio of men and women within the construction industry, many organisation are backing the need to encourage more females to the sector. Some companies have already reaped the benefits of this programme by being proactive and contacting us to put candidates forward for interviews, work experience or perhaps further learning.

On completing the programme, Ella was able to pull together her previous skills with her new confidence for a job in alternative education as Construction Tutor, find out more.

Our Torus group partner, HMS has also played a part in encouraging the ladies by not only advising what next steps could be taken, but they have also provided a number of work experience placements so the ladies can utlilise their knowledge and skills into a real work environment.

HMS also invited along St Helens Rubgy star Tara Jones (pictured above with the group) to speak about her own experiences of aiming to achieve ambitions in a perceived male dominated environment.

Employment Officer, Catherine explains, “My role is a bit like a coach, working with people to realise their potential. In particular, I’m proud to be a part of the journey alongside the ladies on our Women in Construction programme, they’re achieving their goals, boosting their confidence and taking that step closer to employment.”

Although the programme has benefitted ladies from St Helens and Warrington, the team are currently looking to see what plans could be implemented to reach a wider audience and empower women within other neighbourhoods we work within.

In addition to the Women in Construction programme, there is a range of employment and training support available across Liverpool, St Helens and Warrington and in the last year, the team have successfully helped over 250 ladies into a job.

For more information contact the team.

#EachforEqual #InternationalWomensDay2020

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