Belfast Telegraph

Charity boost will help women to build on their skills

By Sara Neill

A Charity helping women to boost construction and ICT skills has had a cash injection.

Construction and IT are dominated by men, but Belfast-based WOMEN'STEC is helping women to break into them.

It provides training to get jobs in the sectors, and reduce the skills shortage in the construction and ICT industries.

It has received a loan from the Ulster Community Investment Trust to help deliver the training.

WOMEN'STEC began 21 years ago, and is now the largest provider of training for women in non-traditional skills in Ireland.

Chief executive Lynn Carvill said: "The charity was set up to support women in areas of high deprivation, giving them the skills and confidence to get back into employment in decent paid jobs. Our last programme ended in March and has yielded fantastic results.

"More than 400 women obtained qualifications, 80 went on to further education, 43 into employment, 42 into voluntary work and 13 became self-employed."

The loan has given the organisation the funds to develop a new programme, teaming up Clanmil Housing residents and construction companies.

Ray Hutchinson of construction firm Gilbert-Ash, which is involved in the scheme, said: "The training and opportunities they are providing to local women are invaluable and partnering with them was a natural fit. "We look forward to developing our partnership further and helping local women find employment."

Belfast Telegraph