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A woman working in construction smiling with a white hard hat A woman working in construction smiling with a white hard hat

Inspiring Careers for Women in Construction

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Rap Interiors

Inspiring Careers for Women in Construction

Over the last year the world has changed dramatically and there is a worry that it has affected the education of Generation Z as 58% believe that their education will suffer due to less time in the classroom. Many students are concerned about their future and whether the disruption to their personal learning will affect the job opportunities they were hoping for.

Research has shown that Gen Zers are more likely to be enrolled in college and so Higher National Diploma Courses are a population education route for them to take.

Students are incredibly resilient and resolute in their desire to forge their own path when it comes to education” and that “they have a keen understanding of the need for skills-based training and lifelong learning, which are integral to succeeding now and in the future.

The President and CEO of ECMC Group

Alongside this, there is a cause for concern regarding the number of women in construction as women only comprise 10% of those working in construction.

A survey presented 13% of women, aged 16-34, said they would consider a career in construction. However, this increased to 45% after those women learnt more about women in management.

This shows that young women need to be further educated about what the roles in construction entail and exposed to more opportunities that are available.

At Rap Interiors we are proud to say that 40% of our team are women, one of which is our Design Director, Julie Anderson.

A bright pink infographic to show that women only compromise 10% of those working in construction A bright pink infographic to show that women only compromise 10% of those working in construction

Julie presented to a number of schools in Kent and Medway through Education Partnership, her journey into the world of construction.

To inspire the next generation and to encourage more young women to pursue a career in construction, Julie shares her “have a go and never give up” attitude in the following video.

Julie’s creative flair isn’t from a design background directly. Her “can-do” attitude established her business experience with running a craft company, becoming a wedding florist and then spotting a gap in the market for a cafe where Rap’s Head Office is based in Kent.

Julie has now worked at Rap Interiors for nearly 30 years and received a lifetime achievement award last year, presented by FIS, for her commitment to charity work, her involvement in the interiors sector and the example she sets to women in the construction industry.

Julie admits in the above video that, while working in construction was not the dream she had envisaged for her life, she has loved the last 28 years at Rap Interiors and is excited about her next mission.

Rap Interiors Design Director collecting an award at the FIS awards Rap Interiors Design Director collecting an award at the FIS awards

Julie offers her advice to those who are looking to work in construction.

Make sure you engage with people in a positive way and be remembered – for the good things! – and always go way above what is expected of you so you make a difference. You’ll find many achievements, self-worth and then you’re valuable to everyone.

Women in Construction at Rap Interiors

The presence of women within construction is certainly increasing. It was noticeable even from university days, where the ratio of female to male was around 40:60 on my degree course.

There are many roles for women within the construction industry. Whilst uptake in labouring in skilled site work is still predominately male, females are more and more frequently within managerial roles. Multiples studies show that women often make a better leader.

I have always wanted to work within construction in one role or another and was fortunate to not be put off just because of my gender. In general, I feel I receive on the most part as much respect as my male co-workers.

Alice, Designer

It’s great to be working in construction as there is such a diverse range of job roles within the industry. I have dabbled in social media, marketing, admin and accounts which from the outset doesn’t sound like your typical role in the sector, but just as important as the bricks and mortar on site.

I really enjoy my job as every day is different. I could be promoting the latest project, working on a tender or attending school career fairs and I think this is the side of industry people don’t know about. Unfortunately, construction is always seen as manly Bob the builder work, but what people need to remember is Bob couldn’t always do the work without Wendy.

There is such a wide range of work people can do in construction which isn’t always promoted, such as the office side of things which women and men can do alongside the trades on site. I feel maybe schools could actively promote this better to get more talent into construction.

Emily, Operations Manager

I love the variety of roles offered in this industry and there are many roles women can do in construction. I am now office-based, working as Marketing Assistant but I have undertaken various roles while working for Rap Interiors since May 2009.

Originally I worked in sales, then progressed to the Projects Team where I assisted and ran smaller projects, went out to sites and coordinated with sub-contractors, ensuring projects ran smoothly.

In fact, I have almost been involved in every department over the last 12 years, apart from finance (not my strongest subject!) So my time in the industry and at Rap Interiors shows that versatility within construction is endless.

Carolyne, Marketing Assistant

Keep Calm and Carry On in Construction

During the pandemic, one industry has managed to “keep calm and carry on” and construction could therefore provide a silver lining for students and their future career prospects.

The construction industry has been concerned for many years that there aren’t many young people looking to work in our exciting world but now schools are looking to refurbish their premises to create more blocks for subjects in art, design, engineering, carpentry, plastering, building and bricklaying.

This is excellent news for the construction industry and the future of Gen Z. These school subjects provide great character building opportunities which is a quality we look for in candidates when looking for a new member to join the team.

This industry is a strong area where teamwork is at the core of everything. Rap Interiors is a brilliant example of a design and fit out company working in construction with a great team at its core.

A modern school interior design for a sixth form canteen area with a dark colour scheme and contrasting flooring. A modern school interior design for a sixth form canteen area with a dark colour scheme and contrasting flooring.

It would be safe to say that if you walked into a workplace that had been designed by Rap Interiors, you would know it would have been Rapped. We are a colourful company and believe that colour inspires, motivates and cheers you up when you go to work and school

Julie Anderson

How to Complete a School Refurbishment Project During a Pandemic

As schools have reopened, it’s essential to make sure the school interior is safe and practical for students and staff. There should be a balance between reducing the spread of COVID-19 as well as ensuring teachers can give and students can receive the best possible education.

As experts in designing post-COVID workspaces, we describe 7 ways you can refurbish your school to achieve this balance in this blog: How to Refurbish Your School During COVID-19

During the pandemic, we have completed a number of refurbishment projects for schools and colleges. While we have been busy working on sites, we have been working to social distancing procedures to keep our clients and employees safe.

Take a look at the schools we have designed during the past year below, including washrooms, a coffee shop and a sixth form breakout area.

School IT suite refurbishment at Collingwood College in Surrey School IT suite refurbishment at Collingwood College in Surrey
the haringey sixth form school breakout area interior design with booths and acoustic panels the haringey sixth form school breakout area interior design with booths and acoustic panels

How to Maximise Your School Space?

If your school is looking at ways to maximise its space and consider different learning environments for your students, then Rap Interiors is here to help.

We are experts in providing post-COVID workspaces to the education sector, having worked with a number of schools and colleges to improve their learning environment for the students and staff.

We are still fully operational during this national lockdown, working with health and safety procedures in place to ensure our clients and staff are safe.

You can book a FREE design consultation with one of the team on 0333 600 1234 or fill out the form below and get a call back to discuss your project in more detail.

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