The project is providing a women-only training course to give them the skills they need to success in the construction
environment. The project promotes a change in the mentality of the construction industry, where common prejudices mean that women are often less likely than men to be hired
for manual and technical labour roles.
Participants were taken to a training site, such as a building for renovation. There they could practice a range of skills – rendering, painting – in
a safe environment. The concept was that, since the work needs practical skills, theory classes are not needed since
the trainees can discover everything they need to know onsite. After five months on the site, the women spent one month on a work placement in a company which sometimes
led to employment within the company (62.5 %), but if not, the trainee gained solid work experience and knowledge of
what is expected in the workforce. This helped to boost their confidence enabling them to perform better in job interviews.
Women with a good educational background up to degree level were encouraged to use their new-found skills to set up their own construction businesses. It is well known that in companies where the bosses are women, the gender pay gap is smaller or non-existent and more women are hired. This contributes to the project’s other aim to increase gender diversity across the construction sector.
In 2016, 62.5 % of the trainees were employed in construction. The EU-funded project won the Raja Foundation’s ‘Women’s Trophy Award’ and was a recipient of the ‘Diversity and Equality Foundation’ prize. The project has been running for 22 years and engages with a wide range of funders, including the EU which contributes 45 % of the total project costs.
Total budget: €111 172 (€51 029 from ESF)
Timeframe: Jan-Dec 2016
More info: Didier Norgeot