Login Work at WLC Hire Our Venues Click to open mobile menu with site search
News

Tradeswomen Building Bridges Visit Park Royal College

Eleven construction tradeswomen from Canada, Europe and the United States visited West London College earlier today, 16 June, as part of the jam-packed delegation to London of over 40 construction tradeswomen from the North American Tradeswomen Building Bridges. Our temporary Park Royal College specialises in construction trades, including carpentry and joinery, plumbing, electrical installation and brickwork. The delegation from ‘Tradeswomen Building Bridges’, in cooperation with the University of Westminster (in particular Linda Clarke), came to find out more about construction training and working in the construction industry, particularly from a female point of view – and to share best practice.

Tradeswomen Building Bridges delegation visiting Park Royal College
Tradeswomen Building Bridges delegation visiting Park Royal College

One of the founders of Tradeswomen for Building Bridges (TBB), Amanda Kay Johnson is a carpenter from New York City. She explained that, after a delegation to India in 2019 TBB was formed. Amanda Kay said: “TBB is striving to improve awareness, encouragement and develop learning to create a better environment for women in construction, internationally.”

TBB co-founder Amber McCoy said: “We want to connect with organisations around the world and create a stronger community to support women in construction roles.”

The delegates had question and answer sessions with Assistant Principal Dean Vaughan, Construction Curriculum Manager Enda Mulloy, West London Green Skills Hub Coordinator Barry Mortimer and Joe Brennan of Joe Brennan Training who supplies apprentices to major contractors. 

The TBB visitors were impressed to hear about bursaries that Joe Brennan Training provides to apprentices to cover expenses such as childcare and buying tools.

Joe said: “Tools are expensive and the more tools a tradesperson has the more attractive they become to employers and so more likely to get work.”

A similarity between North America and the UK is the small number of women ‘on the tools’ (which means actively engaged in construction crafts) relative to men. 

Cassandra Klewicki of TBB said: “We have almost 4 times the number of women in the construction trades as England does. Part of the reason we came to London is to share 4 case studies of areas in the United States and Canada where the percentage of women in construction trades has risen above 10%. England is hovering around 1% for manual trades.”

Leah Peters from Winnipeg in Canada, said: “Recruitment isn’t the problem, retention is the main issue. Without strong support networks, women often face discrimination and decide to leave.”

The TBB women also met with construction teachers in bricklaying, electrical, carpentry and plumbing and an internal quality assessor to find out how standards are ensured in construction qualifications in the UK.

HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM
COLLEGE
HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM COLLEGE
HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM COLLEGE
Gliddon Road
Barons Court
London W14 9BL

///duke.choice.level (What3Words)
020 7565 1200
EALING GREEN COLLEGE
EALING GREEN COLLEGE
EALING GREEN COLLEGE
The Green
Ealing
London W5 5EW

///views.brick.kind (What3Words)
020 7565 1200
SOUTHALL COMMUNITY
COLLEGE
SOUTHALL COMMUNITY COLLEGE
SOUTHALL COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Beaconsfield Road
Southall
London UB1 1DP

///bonus.begin.beats (What3Words)
020 7565 1200
British Council
Cambridge English
Disability Confident Committed
English UK - Member
Education & Skills Funding Agency
EU European Social Fund
FIS - Associate Member
Google for Education - Reference College
IELTS - English for International Opportunity
Trinity College London - Secure English Language Tests
Matrix - Quality standard for information advice and guidance services
The National Skills Academy - Rail
OET - Premium Preperation Provider
QAA - UK Quality Assured