With women representing just 15% of the UK’s property and construction workforce, 21-year-old Jay Lewis, who works for national housebuilder Linden Homes is keen to highlight how much she is enjoying her career in housebuilding.
Having joined Linden Homes as an apprentice in April 2015, Jay completed her apprenticeship and achieved an NVQ Level 2. Her commitment was recognised, and she was swiftly promoted to trainee site manager at the housebuilder’s Greyfriars Quarter development in the centre of Gloucester, where she is responsible for assisting the site team. She works alongside project manager, Paul Latham, to ensure the new homes are delivered to a high quality, on time and on budget.
Commenting on her career in the industry, Jay says: “My project manager, Paul has been a great mentor and really took me under his wing in the early days. I’m now working towards a Level 4 NVQ in site management and love being on site – the camaraderie is just brilliant. A typical day involves assisting in the running of the site, health and safety paperwork, on site health and safety checks, working with different trades and meeting with customers. I am so pleased that I chose housebuilding; many people think of it as a career for men, but I am happy to be changing that misconception.”
Andrew Hammond, Linden Homes’ divisional chairman, sees women like Jay as part of a commitment to attract a diverse range of talented people to company’s team, saying: “It is encouraging to see that Jay is enjoying her on-site career with our Western region where we currently have two trainee site managers. We are committed to helping young people into the industry which is testament to our management trainee programme and intake of apprentices. Joining the housebuilding industry offers a wide range of routes and options to meet individual skillsets and interests so we take a bespoke approach to all our trainees. This ensures that they are provided the right balance of education and on-the-job experience, to help them prosper in what will hopefully be a long career for them in the sector.”
Linden Homes is also committed to encouraging more female talent into the business and is in the third year of sponsoring the Women in Property Awards, an event which helps to drive a step change in the opportunities available to women in the sector.