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End Of The Skills Shortage In The Construction Industry


WOMEN'STEC prepares dozens of women to jobs in the trades to help employers in Northern Ireland meet their personnel challenges.

JobScene Belfast 22nd September 2005 - WOMEN'STEC the largest quality provider of training for women in non-traditional skills in Northern Ireland is encouraging more and more women to think of non-traditional employment as a valid career option. The organisation will hold a seminar at the JobScene event to present to employers and would-be tradeswomen the "Challenges and Opportunities for women in non-traditional employment".

Strong demands for tradespeople in the province and good salaries have made jobs such as plumber or carpenter a valid option for women. The WOMEN'STEC has been encouraging dozens of women for the past 12 years to explore non-traditional career options such as joinery or electricity but also jobs in IT or horticulture.

A support framework that includes childcare is offered to lone parents who want to invest time and effort in attending prevocational courses in a range of trades.

WOMEN'STEC also operates Girl Power, a summer programme alongside its regular in-house courses for girls aged 14 to 16 which offers them introductory courses and site visits in order to awake their interest into non-traditional careers. The programme has been so popular with girls from all over Belfast that it has been brought as a mobile course into the schools.

Anne McVicker, Chief Executive of WOMEN'STEC said "Women are under-represented in non-traditional skills sectors and precisely those sectors suffer from a chronic shortage of skilled professionals. Our aim is to end this shortage." She added "We are not trying to replicate training that is already available elsewhere so we bring women's skills up to speed in construction trades for them to finalise their qualifications through BIFHE or other relevant colleges; research in other parts of Europe has highlighted that women have been as popular with customers as men in these trades and that they show a very high level of job satisfaction".

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