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Havering College hosts national all-female bricklaying competition to encourage more women to consider careers in construction

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 March 2019

The first female building competition underway at the Rainham Construction Centre. Tiffany Atkinson.

The first female building competition underway at the Rainham Construction Centre. Tiffany Atkinson.

Archant

Young women competed in the first of its kind female bricklaying competition as part of a college’s wider construction skills day.

The Bricklaying Forterra Females (BFF) contest, organised by building products manufacturer Forterra at Havering College of Further and Higher Education’s Rainham campus, kicked off National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week on Monday.

BFF is a new national competition which aims to find the best female student bricklayers in the country while encouraging more girls and women to consider careers in bricklaying or construction.

Kerri Chambers, who is now assistant quantity surveyor for a London construction firm, after winning a bricklaying competition at Havering College while still training, said: “The industry is always looking for more people to join up, and these days there are more options for women who want to get involved and build a career in the sector.

“I began my career as a bricklayer when I was 19 and 10 years on I’ve managed to progress in the industry.

The first female building competition underway at the Rainham Construction Centre. Tangina Choudhury.The first female building competition underway at the Rainham Construction Centre. Tangina Choudhury.

“I put my success down to having a background in the trades - it’s hard work but it can lead to a satisfying and rewarding career.”

Monday’s contest saw four female student bricklayers from colleges across the UK compete for six hours to build an International Women’s Day-themed competition piece.

Head of construction curriculum at Brooklands College in Weybridge Christian Hatherrall-Good, and David Jones from Havering College judged the pieces and declared 17-year-old Naomi Hamilton of Brooklands College as the winner.

Second place was taken by Charlotte Springer, 18, also of Brooklands College, while 23-year-old Tangina “Tango” Choudhury of Barnfield College in Luton earned third place.

Second place Charlotte Springer, winner Naomi Hamilton and third place Tangina Choudhury. Picture: Paul Cooper/ForterraSecond place Charlotte Springer, winner Naomi Hamilton and third place Tangina Choudhury. Picture: Paul Cooper/Forterra

Tiffany Atkinson, 17, who studies at Havering College, was highly commended for her competition piece.

All four are currently studying bricklaying at Level 1.

Chief executive of Forterra Stephen Harrison said: “Construction has always traditionally been seen as male-dominated but we hope and expect to see increasing numbers of women working across the sector.

“This initiative aims to inspire more females to explore the opportunities the industry has to offer.”


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