A female bricklaying apprentice with Leicester-based Westleigh is using International Women’s Day (Thursday 8 March) to show that a career based on bricklaying skills is not a men-only opportunity.
18-year-old Megan Kenney works is a bricklayer and is currently in her second year of a Level 2 apprenticeship in bricklaying at Leicester College, spending one week a month in college and the rest of the time on site, at Westleigh’s landmark Wolsey Island development.
She was inspired by a career in construction by her father and brother who are both also bricklayers and believes too many young women are put off the idea of a career in construction by the misconception that it is a ‘man’s job’.
With National Apprenticeship Week well underway, she says: “I’d recommend a construction apprenticeship to any girls who are considering it. It really isn’t as hard as you think. I haven’t found that being a girl has made any difference – we’re all just a big team here. Bricklaying is not just a man’s job any more, it really is accessible to girls as a career option if they want it.
“The apprenticeship is a great opportunity to get onto a site, get some experience and what we do on site fits in nicely with what we’re learning at college. For me personally it’s also great to be working with my dad and my brother as a little family trio. We’re able to talk things through and we know we can fall back on each other when we need help and advice.”
Ian Jones, managing director at Westleigh, says: “We hope Megan’s example will inspire other women to consider a career in construction and in particular a trade apprenticeship. We are very proud of our workforce and as gold standard Investors in People business we are committed to leading the way in terms of gender parity and challenging stereotypes.
“We’re always keen to hear from enthusiastic and aspirational people who want to start a career in construction, so don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about our apprenticeship programme.”
The firm recruits an annual intake of apprentices each September. The deadline for this year’s applications is Sunday 11 March.
Come to listen and talk about housebuilding careers – apprenticeship, diversity, training and leadership – at our New Homes Debate in London on Thursday 15 March 2018.