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Construction is just the job for girls, says South Wales housing developer Lovell

Construction is just the job for girls, was the message from Cardiff-based housing developer and regeneration specialist Lovell at the recent the Keeping It Equal careers event attended by 550 girls and young women from across South Wales and the West of England.

The gathering at Newport’s Celtic Manor Resort, inspired them to consider non-traditional jobs by giving them practical experience – and enabling them to meet role models already working in traditionally ‘male’ fields.

Lovell gave girls and young women the chance to get stuck into the Lovell House construction challenge – a hands-on activity to build a mini wooden house using mathematics and design skills and focusing on the different jobs involved in delivering a new housing development. Lovell business development managers Gemma Clissett and Sarah Ambury and community liaison officer Bernadette Vickery also spoke to girls about their own successful careers in construction.

“Our industry has changed enormously and is full of opportunities for women. It was fantastic to get that message across to so many girls and young women at Keeping It Equal,” says regional director Kate Rees, who leads the Lovell team in South Wales and the South West.  Keeping it Equal was organised by South Wales social enterprise Full Circle Education Solutions.

“As a company, we’re committed to bringing more young people into the industry and developing the skilled workforce we need to keep taking the business forward.

“Many people still think that construction jobs are just for men. While it’s true that women are under-represented in the industry as a whole, making up just 11 per cent of the national workforce, the reality at Lovell is that we have women working across the company and playing a key role in planning, designing, and building  new homes in communities.  Our own senior management team in South Wales and the South West itself has equal numbers of men and women and we’re committed to encouraging and developing talented people, regardless of gender.

Lovell business development managers Sarah Ambury (third from left) and Gemma Clissett (third from right) pictured at the Keeping it Equal event.

“Speaking personally, this is an exciting industry to be in and I would love to see more girls and young women considering construction careers. It’s a business that brings huge job satisfaction, whether that comes from building someone a new home, helping a teenager learn a trade or transforming a neighbourhood through regeneration.  Communicating that and encouraging more people to join us, at a time when construction workloads are growing and new homes are urgently needed is something we are very keen to do. There are great jobs for women right across the board and it’s not just about manual trades; construction also offers roles for architects, planners and designers, project managers, quantity surveyors and estimators, legal teams and sales and marketing professionals.” It’s estimated that over 230,000 new construction jobs will be created in the UK over the next five years making it essential that new workers are brought into the industry and equipped with the right skills.

Lovell offers the full range of housing solutions across South Wales and the South West. In South Wales, the company has been appointed by the Tirion Group to develop a former paper mill site in Cardiff with 800 brand-new homes, creating a £100 million new urban village. One of Wales’ largest city regeneration programmes, the development will transform the 53-acre former Arjo Wiggins Paper Mill site, in Canton, Cardiff, with a brand-new sustainable community featuring houses and apartments in a riverside setting, as well as providing new business, commercial and recreational space. Lovell is also working on the second phase of the 250-home, £28 million Loftus Garden Village development in Newport, for Seren Group.