Bread and butter from bricks and mortar

21 August 2006

The building and construction industry is male-dominated, ask anyone in the industry. Keen to attract more young women to the industry and to allied fields of study, UCT invited over 160 young women from high schools all over the Western Cape to participate in their National Construction Week in July, held at the Leslie Social Science Building.

Competing teams vied to build a miniature house and garage, putting their designing and construction skills to the test. Women role models from the construction industry, representing various disciplines, shared their stories with the pupils, telling them why they had chosen their professions. They also described a typical day on the job, including the highs and the lows.

The event gave these young women a view of the career opportunities available in construction and encouraged them to enrol in the built environment degree programmes.

Participants used the Junior Tradesman building kits to build the house and garage, the revolutionary 3-D design kit developed by the School of Architecture, Planning & Geomatics. Keeping it an all-woman exercise, women student volunteers were on hand to assist the teams and answer queries about their degree courses. Part of the exercise was to create posters that would attract women to careers in construction.

(The event was sponsored by Old Mutual Properties, Grinaker-LTA, WBHO, Group 5 and Atlas Properties.)

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