Could women help solve the trades skills shortage?

Figures released by AXA insurance in February highlighted a massive lack of gender equality in the construction industry; with women making up a mere 5.2% of the current trades workforce.  We’ve taken a look at the key statistics to demonstrate some of the main issues from the report and have produced an infographic with the findings:

The Farmer Report back in October last year emphasised the need for more skilled tradespeople to meet the growing demand of the new build housing sector.  With more males opting to choose an office based role, why aren’t we targeting the female part of the population to enter the Construction industry?

Figures from the Farmer Report 2016

Some might take the very old fashioned viewpoint that the trades industry isn’t ‘family friendly’, creating a lack of willingness for the construction industry to engage with women for anything other than degree or office based roles; however, with the support and flexibility that temporary site work offers, a role in trades could actually be beneficial to a modern family.

Typically, careers education doesn’t actively encourage young women to view working in the construction sector as a career.  In many cases, information about the sector is only provided if the person shows an initial interest.  Schools and colleges could remedy this by offering workshops to provide practical work experience to young people about the potential of working as a tradesperson and offer more information on employment along with the earning potential.

There are many stereotypes that come with working as a tradesperson; one of which being that manual work doesn’t pay as well as less labour-intensive roles.  In reality, tradespeople could earn up to 37% more than most other sectors with much more flexibility on working hours.

The construction industries image should also be considered, with reports of offensive ‘banter’ aimed at women, both on and off site.  Construction sites need to manage any reports of this more effectively in order to create a more positive outlook towards women joining the industry.  Once more women move into construction, confidence will be increased and this issue could be a thing of the past.

If you want to learn more about the construction industry and the benefits of becoming a tradesperson visit

Let us know what you think in the comments below or tweet us @ionicjobs

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