Kim Watts, 22, who had no previous experience in construction, is now a trainee finisher at the Witchford site that we are developing for Clarion Housing Group.
Kim, who was working in marketing but wanted to have a practical role, got in touch with Women into Construction (WIC), an independent not-for-profit organisation promoting gender equality in construction, after a friend suggested the construction industry as a pathway. WIC worked with their training partners Clarion Futures for Kim to access training to gain her CSCS and Traffic Marshall ticket, which she passed in summer 2022. They also provided Kim with support, a mentor and arranged the work experience placement with Lovell.
Kim spent a week with Lovell in August 2022 and impressed the team with her attitude, knowledge and willingness to get involved in any role she was tasked with.
Phil Tipping, contracts manager at Lovell, said: “Kim came into Lovell full of confidence with a fantastic attitude, and was proactive and organised with brilliant attention to detail. She spent time shadowing some of the team and we were all impressed when she produced an immaculate snag list of jobs. Kim was very eager to work for Lovell, recognising it as a great company, and kept her eyes open for suitable roles, applying for and beating other candidates for this finisher role. Kim’s role as trainee finisher is a really important one as it cements the quality of the houses Lovell develops.”
Kim Watts, said: “Phil and Todd really showed me the ropes and I told them to give me as many opportunities as they could. I had a wonderful week with Lovell developing my skill set and was willing to get stuck in and get my hands dirty and I am very grateful to WIC for helping me get there. At school they never pushed construction as a sector for women but there is a huge spectrum of roles in construction and there is a role there somewhere for anyone.”
Kim continues: “The site is like a second home and Lovell welcomed me with open arms. They value me and recognised my potential and have brilliant training too, such as a pasma scaffold training I have just completed. I now go into the houses before the customer moves in and fix anything that needs doing, whether painting, finishing or plastering.”
Shelley Lawrence, strategic partnerships and communications manager at Women into Construction, said: “Kim took this opportunity with both hands and went for it! We are so pleased that she enjoyed her work experience placement with Lovell and wish her all the very best in her new role with them as a trainee finisher. Kim is a fantastic example of the female talent available to the industry that can be accessed by opening up opportunities to career changers through work experience placements."
Best of luck to Kim in her new role at Lovell.