Equate Women at ConStructEd 2021

Renewable Energy? – I’m a big fan!

Equate Scotland in partnership with ConStructEd Scotland and Sibbalds Training delivered our 4th Equate Women at ConStructEd event in September 2021. The event was made possible thanks to our industry sponsors Jacobs and Balfour Beatty. A massive thank you must also go out to Dale Lyon, Managing Director of Concrete Scotland, who leads the programme, and his events are always a large draw for our student network

“The whole experience was a lot better and more realistic to a day in the life as a construction engineer [than I thought].”
– ConStructEd delegate 2021

With an ongoing need to reduce the STEM skills gap and an increasing focus on green skills including renewable energies, projects like ConStructEd give attendees real world experience that gives them the best chance to secure one of the roles of the future. The experience provides an opportunity to develop hand-on practical skills that improve the delegate’s employability prospects, but also improves soft employability skills, and helps them build confidence in their own abilities which is equally vital. The delegates listed the top five skills the course helped them with as: Teamwork, Communication Skills, Planning & organising Skills, Technical Skills, and Creativity & Innovation.

“It has given me a confidence boost to know that I am capable of getting through my course and entering the industry. I am a mature student and talked myself out of this kind of work 20 years ago because I felt I wouldn’t thrive or even survive the male dominated sector. In terms of my studies, it has been great to see things in practice as opposed to the watching it on a computer screen.”
– ConStructEd delegate 2021

Held at Sibbalds Training in Blackridge, West Lothian, 20 amazing women looking to enter a career in the Engineering and Built Environment sectors attended the practical hands-on onsite experience – an experience like no other. Over the course of the three days the delegates built 2 working wind turbines and power houses. Applying construction knowledge and techniques such as assessing two dimensional drawings, steel fixing, formwork fabrication, concrete pouring and risk assessment, skills that they have only had the opportunity to learn online until now due to COVID 19. The team of women were led by the staff and colleagues from Concrete Scotland, who provide experiential learning events to groups of students.

“I was surprised how we were thrown in at the deep end but after half a day it felt like that was the way it should have been.”
– ConStructEd delegate 2021

The ConStructEd event provides a great opportunity for the women students to meet other women studying the same disciplines at other institutions across Scotland. The participants this year were studying various built environment related subjects including civil engineering, construction management, quantity surveying, architectural engineering, environmental civil engineering and structural engineering.
The women also had an opportunity to meet and network with professionals in their field. They benefitted from the volunteer mentorship of Moira Johnstone, Bethany Welsh, Cara McMurtrie and Amy Fraser from Balfour Beatty and Morven Sneddon, Emma Codona, Sophia Shafiq, Karen Campbell, Kara Connon, Lloyd Walker and Vicky Campbell from Jacobs who provided not just technical and practical advice but also shared invaluable careers advice, insights, and experiences.
On the final day the delegates were awarded their completion certificates from Sarah Shanahan,
Senior Portfolio Operations Lead at Jacobs and Lesley Laird, Director at Equate Scotland. With two delegates Daina Drever and Kathryn McElroy winning the Jacobs Endeavour award.

“It has solidified my desire to work in this field and has excited me further for my future.”
– ConStructEd delegate 2021

• 100% of delegates thought the programme gave them a good insight into what it is like to work onsite.

• 100% of delegates felt they knew or understood more about the role of consultants and contractors onsite.

• 82% of delegates rated their overall experience as 5/5 with the remaining 18% rating it at 4/5

• 82% of delegates felt ConStructEd increased their confidence ‘a lot more’ in their abilities and felt they could succeed in construction; with the remaining 18% reporting it increased their confidence ‘a little more’

To hear more about our experiential and online events and how to sign up when opportunities open, please see https://equatescotland.org.uk/experiential-learning-workshops/