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Places for People joins forces with Women into Construction

Attleborough Under Construction

Leading social enterprise, Places for People has joined forces with Women into Construction as part of a drive to attract more women to join the business. This exciting programme will help increase and diversify the workforce and support the ambitious plans to delivery of over 5,000 new homes per year by 2028. 

Places for People’s development business currently employs double the number of women compared to the construction industry average – 33% of its employees are female, while the industry norm is just 16%. This UK-wide figure reduces further, to less than 2% for women working in trade roles on site, yet the construction industry needs an additional 225,000 workers by 20271. As Places for People shifts towards a business model where it self-builds 70% of its new homes, there will be a marked increase in demand for hands-on construction roles and there is an anticipation that women will play a significant role in helping to fill them.  

Jon Cook, CEO for Development at Places for People comments: “Working with Women into Construction is intrinsic to our growth ambitions as we look for new ways to address the construction skills shortage and bring on board the high-quality personnel we need. As the country’s largest social enterprise, we want to be seen as an employer of choice for women and we are keen to attract and retain the best female talent for a wide variety of job roles throughout the business.”  

Places for People will work closely with Women into Construction at grassroots level to identify regions where there is a forthcoming need for additional staff and will hold roadshows to recruit potential female candidates in that area, as well as offering professional skills training. It hopes to attract a broad range of women from school and college leavers to those considering a career change or returning to work after a break.   

Places for People is a forward-thinking organisation with an open and collaborative culture. As the UK’s leading social enterprise, it puts its profits back into the business by investing in creating sustainable communities that improve lives for the long term. This underlying social purpose is also reflected in its role as a fair and inclusive employer. The company has been recognised as a ‘Great Place to Work’ since 2019 and ranked in the UK’s Best Workplaces for Women for three years running.  

Sammie Steele, Managing Director for Placemaking and Regeneration at Places for People comments: “The construction industry at large is suffering a staffing crisis, which is why it is a great time for women to consider a career in construction. There are a wide range of opportunities available, including trade roles that have perhaps not traditionally attracted women, but offer great employment prospects. Places for People is an inspiring environment to work, people will be joining a team that is committed to building better homes and stronger communities designed for how people live now and in the future. I’m excited that we're working with Women into Construction, and it is a proactive step towards better gender equality and will help towards closing the gender pay gap.”  

Places for People is also working on other initiatives to increase the diversity of the business. It runs the Women into Trades training programme offering traineeships in construction to unemployed young women and it is also in the process of getting accreditation through HouseProud, the network group for LGBT people working in social housing.