Local housebuilder Barratt Homes has welcomed Aine Hill, aged 20, to its Kingsbrook development in Aylesbury as its latest carpentry apprentice.

With women making up just 15% of people working in construction in the UK[1], Aine will complete her Level 2 Carpentry Apprenticeship with the opportunity to learn while earning with Britain’s leading housebuilder.

Aine Hill moved from her home in Donegal, Ireland and now splits her time between working on site with the construction team at Kingsbrook as well as attending Stephenson College in Leicester for practical and theoretical training.

To celebrate Women in Construction Week (3rd-9th March), Aine shares her experiences on why she wanted to start a career in the industry. Aine comments: “I inherited my love for woodwork as a child inspired by my dad’s career in boat construction, and I found that woodwork class was the only reason I liked going to school.

“I didn’t enjoy school much and left school at 15 to become a butcher and earn an income. I never knew that there would be opportunities out there for someone like me who has no formal qualifications, but I knew I always wanted a career in construction. That is what led me to find Barratt Homes, which provides opportunities to learn on the job and to explore a wide range of careers within the industry.”

The number of women in the construction industry has increased by just 4% over the past 10 years[2], due to a slow uptake in women joining the industry.

Aine Hill commented: “From a young age, women feel as though the construction industry is for men only. However, I think the more women that young girls see entering the trade, will encourage a growing domino effect for more women joining the industry.”

According to the Federation of Master Builders, many factors contribute to the lack of gender equality in the industry, including a lack of flexible working options and fewer women in senior leadership positions. Many women also report a lack of information provided about the breadth of career choices within construction and related core subjects from an early age[3].

New apprentices with Barratt Homes can choose to qualify in either carpentry or bricklaying, and the 18-month course will see Aine gain crucial hands-on training supported by the expertise of the construction team. The training is interspersed with block-weeks at Stephenson College where she will gain off-site theoretical training.

“I am pleasantly surprised with how much I have already learnt over the past few months and how much I am enjoying the process,” continues Aine. “Considering I didn’t like the school learning environment; I am now always eager to get into the college classroom and to find out more about the industry.

“I love being a part of the housing construction process, from the first brick being laid to the walls and plaster going in. Everyone I meet on site is incredibly encouraging, and I feel like a valued member of the team.”

Alongside the hands-on training for apprentices, lessons at Stephenson College cover a range of topics including the land buying process and the latest industry regulations, providing apprentices with a wider insight into the process of building new homes.

Marc Woolfe, Sales and Marketing Director for Barratt North Thames, comments: “We are proud to support young people with career pathways into the construction industry. Our Apprenticeships offer the rare combination of a full-time job, on-site experience, and a qualification, and it is essential that women have these exciting opportunities available to them just as much as men do.

“We love to work with young people in our local community, providing them with the very best training and support from our award-winning site teams to pass on their knowledge and expertise. Apprentices such as Aine also have the opportunity to learn in an academic environment at Stephenson College, helping her to gain well rounded industry knowledge and a strong foundation on which to build a career.”

To find out more about the careers available with Barratt Homes, visit www.barrattcareers.co.uk.

Applications are now open for one bricklayer and one carpentry apprentice, at both Barratt Homes’ Kingsbrook development in Aylesbury as well as at its Clipstone Park development in Leighton Buzzard.

Aine and the team are building a number of two, three and four-bedroom homes at its Kingsbrook development in Aylesbury, where prices start from £230,000 for a two-bedroom home.

To find out more about Barratt Homes, call 03308381674 or visit www.barratthomes.co.uk.

[1] https://www.fmb.org.uk/resource/deconstructing-barriers-for-women-in-construction.html

[2] https://www.fmb.org.uk/resource/deconstructing-barriers-for-women-in-construction.html

[3] https://www.fmb.org.uk/resource/deconstructing-barriers-for-women-in-construction.html

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