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Local Family Firm Builds Support for Women in Construction Week

The Luton-based family-run Neville Trust group of companies, which includes construction businesses Neville Special Projects and Neville Joinery, is supporting the 26th annual Women in Construction Week (March 3-9, 2024). Over its long history the group has promoted women within construction and allied trades and is celebrating the vital role they play in holding the ‘Keys to the Future’ for the industry.

Some of the women working in construction across our companies

Neville Special Projects and Neville Joinery employ women across a variety of roles, each contributing to the overall success of the group – whether this be from within the Luton headquarters or onsite at their various projects. Because this years’ theme for Women in Construction Week is ‘Keys to the Future’, these wonderful women were asked what this theme means to them.

“No two jobs are ever the same”

Amy works as our Construction Technical Support and was introduced to the construction industry by her father: “Growing up, I was always helping Dad with extensions on the house or going to work with him on a Saturday morning. It was the Commercial Manager in my first job that piqued my interest in quantity surveying – he always got me to help him with his subcontract accounts, and no question was ever a silly one in his mind. My interpretation of this year’s theme is that we each hold the keys to our future and it’s making sure that we can find the right door to unlock our full potential.”

According to statistics reported in Construction News, 15.8% of the British construction workforce is female, the highest relative record for the industry to date. Despite this, there is a clear need to foster better gender diversity within the industry – something Electrician, Ashleigh, hopes will change: “I think it can be quite intimidating for women to work in an industry that is predominantly male, especially on large construction sites. However, the key to the future must be taking on more female apprentices and attracting more women into the industry and allied trades.”

“Getting rid to the stereotype”

Gabby, Painter & Decorator, is breaking the mould with her apprenticeship and is one of a number of female apprentices who have trained with Neville Special Projects: “I think the main challenge for women in construction is to get rid of that stereotype that it’s a man's industry. Women can do any job they are passionate about and put their minds to, and my advice for young women looking to start in the industry would be, if it’s something you enjoy and want to do as a career, just go for it! Don't worry about what anyone else is doing or what your friends are doing at college.  It’s your future and you work more than you do anything else, so you have to do something you enjoy!”

The careers offered by the Neville Special Projects and Neville Joinery range from bench joinery, painting and decorating, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, masonry, quantity surveying, site management and more. Across construction, the Trust’s dedication to work-based learned and lifelong education tackles short-term and long-term skills shortages. With a cohort of home-grown female talent breaking the ‘glass ceiling’ for the industry, the companies strive towards achieving diversity across age, gender, disability, religious and cultural backgrounds.

Bench Joiner Sara said: “Gender isn’t important. Everyone could do this job. Even though I am sometimes the only woman in the workshop, the gents are helpful. I am part of the team, and we support each other.”

Neville Trust and its associated companies has been employing people from the Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire region for nearly 150 years. Neville Joinery and Neville Special Projects provide construction, installation and refurbishment services to a high quality across the private and public sector.

To learn more about the Trust’s commitment to providing equal opportunities, head to the website today. For information about Neville Special Projects click here. Finally, for more information about Neville Joinery, click here.

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