Posted: Tue 8th Mar 2016

Flintshire County Council marks International Women’s Day by celebrating their women in construction

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 8th, 2016

Women make up only 11% of the construction workforce in the UK – and just 1% of workers on site – according to figures quoted on the UCATT (Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians) website. The Office for National Statistics says that the number of women working as roofers, bricklayers and glaziers is so low that it is unmeasurable.

Flintshire is bucking this trend where 25% of their Capital Works team are women.

This team works on the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) programme, to ensure all council houses are up to standard by 2020. The Flintshire repairs and maintenance team also has the Council’s first female electrician.

Cllr Helen Brown, Cabinet member for Housing, said:

“I’m proud to say that Flintshire County Council is taking the lead on encouraging women to work in the construction industry. Not only do we have women in our Capital Works team, but we are also working with our partners and contractors to inspire young women to take up the many apprenticeships being created in the county.”

Here are some of their stories:

Karen Stevens, Tenant Liaison Officer, said:

“I started this role in August 2015 and have a background in housing management. I absolutely love working with and helping people and can identify when people are struggling with day to day tasks and or experiencing difficulties. I spend 80% of the time on site in rain, hail or shine and I love it.”

Hazel Oliver is also a Tenant Liaison Officer (TLO). She started 12 years ago working in Housing Repairs and progressed through to pricing and work planning before moving into her current role.

She spent some time in the private sector, as both a contractor and supplier, which gave her a good insight into different aspects of the business. At present, she is working with two contractors on the Bathroom and Heating replacement programme, from initial survey throughout the works to completion. She says:

“I visit the properties regularly during the works. It is a very rewarding job. The majority of my time is spent out on site and I get to meet many wonderful people along the way.”

Christine Stewart, WHQS System Auditor, said:

“I moved to the Capital Works team from the Repairs and Maintenance contact centre – dealing on a day to day basis with tenants, support workers, maintenance engineers and contractors. This proved to be excellent experience for my current job role where I check, collate and enter information into the Capital Works Programme, ensuring the data is correct and up to date. Being office based means that I can be a point of contact for tenant enquiries, contractors and a host of other internal and external agencies, which adds an extra dimension to my role.

“I really enjoy all aspects of my work, it’s varied, we’re a great team and there is never a dull moment.”

Pictured in front of Castle Heights in Flint are L to R: Rae Williams – TLO, Christine Stewart – WHQS System Auditor, Diane Thomas – TLO, Clare Budden – Flintshire County Council Chief Officer Community and Enterprise, Karen Stevens – TLO, Cllr Helen Brown, Cabinet Member for Housing, Michelle Gordon – Maintenance Inspector, Hazel Oliver – TLO and Hannah James – Contract Surveyor

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