Counsellor for Economic and Trade Affairs, Páraig Hennessy, and Enterprise Ireland last night welcomed 20 young women to the Embassy of Ireland to break the stereotypes in today’s construction industry and to showcase the diverse range of career paths available. Designed to address the skills gap and lack of awareness currently challenging the UK construction sector, Enterprise Ireland assembled an audience from Newham Workplace alongside a panel of leading experts to shine a spotlight on the breadth and diversity of career opportunities available to them.
Speaking at the event, Enterprise Ireland Construction Market Advisor, Anne Corr, said, “Many people think careers in construction are limited to working on-site in hard hats and steel-toe boots. With She Built That, we wanted to highlight that there is so much more in the sector for young people to consider – be it interior fit-out, offsite construction, planning or design, to name but a few.”
The evening opened with welcome addresses from Counsellor Hennessy, and Enterprise Ireland UK Manager, Deirdre McPartlin, before moving onto a panel discussion exploring the varied career paths available in construction.
Irish contributions to the UK construction industry are strong, with exports increasing by 14% in 2018. The Enterprise Ireland panel convened leading talents from the UK construction sector together, including, Eilis McShane, Façade Specialist; Jacqui O’Donovan, Managing Director at O’Donovan Waste; Alison Nicholl, Head of Constructing Excellence; and Kate McMillan, Development Consultant.
Nuala Forsey, Facilitator and Coach at Being The Change, closed the session with an inspirational speech before attendees had the chance to network and discuss the ideas raised during a networking session.
Enterprise Ireland works with a range of Irish construction client companies in the UK market which enjoy success and create jobs country-wide. Several of these companies, such as ESS Modular, Castlebrook and Techcrete also attended She Built That, and kindly offered work experience opportunities to candidates at the event, as well as tours of current and completed projects, and visits to their factories.
Anne Corr remarked, “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our client companies. They have put together stimulating tours and work experience programmes which will be offered to candidates from Newham Workplace.
“In overcoming the skills gap facing the UK construction industry, it’s so important that young people are given the chance to understand first-hand how many career paths are available to them within the wider construction industry.”