In 2013, Keltbray’s Training and Development Director, Holly Price (pictured left), was elected Vice Chair of the London and Southern Region of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC).
She has now been formally elected as Chair of the Region by the Region’s more than 80 members. This means she is currently Chair Elect.
“This is the biggest and most influential region within the Federation, and Holly is the first woman to take on this role, working closely with the region and producing industry guidance notes on key issues. As Chair, she will add a new dimension to the Federation’s Governing Council, said Chief Executive of the NFDC, Howard Button.
Being one of only a handful of licensed explosives engineers in the UK, and the only female explosives engineer in the UK and Europe, Holly is only too used to working in a male-dominated industry.
And while her NFDC appointment is a step in the right direction, it is concerning that fewer than 20 per cent of those working in construction as a whole are women, according to Holly: “With the industry at full throttle and likely to exceed pre-recession levels this year, we have long known that attracting the best skills and talent from all parts of society is one of the biggest challenges we face.”
Forecasts suggest that an additional 200,000 jobs will be created in the construction industry over the next five years, and that more than twice that could retire over the same period.
“While it is pleasing that new government figures released at the end of March show an increase in the number of young people taking up apprenticeships and traineeships, we in construction need to attract more female workers,” Holly continued.
A recent study by the CITB suggests that while the number of women is slowly increasing, construction remains one of the most male-dominated industries in the UK, with men making up 85.5 per cent of the total workforce.
“Construction is on course for a major comeback; we need a dynamic and diverse workforce to help deliver it. It is important we pull out all the stops and widen the talent pool to tap into the real diversity that exists in this country, both in terms of female and ethnic minority capacity,” concluded Holly.