By Courtney C
WOMEN’STEC has been a great place for me to develop my confidence and my woodworking skills! The Programme #notjustforboys is a new, exciting and innovative programme targeted at young women and girls who are not pursuing an academic route post GCSE, and are perhaps more directed towards gender-traditional careers such as hair, beauty and nails. The programme aims to heighten awareness of the vast range of ‘non-traditional’ careers available and improve diversity and inclusion across industries such as construction where females are under-represented.
I am 19 and recently completed an accredited Carpentry Class at WOMEN’STEC. After leaving school at GSCE level with little career direction I was at a loose end on what to do next. #NotJustForBoys gave me a new opportunity of trying a range if careers often targeted at males, I found my niche in carpentry something that I would never have considered as an option for me. This programme challenges stereotypes around careers and opens up new opportunities for young women and girls to challenge themselves and society.
I love working with wood and enjoyed being creative working with my hands. I love making things – I find this so rewarding to see the final product complete and of purpose!
The class at WOMEN’STEC was a little different, in that we recycled pallet wood to make our class project. This was something that I really enjoyed learning to do. We took the pallets apart, measured and cut the wood to the size needed for our project. The class also covered safe use of tools, being able to use face and edge marks, using a cordless drill and other equipment. The pallet wood is quite rough, so quite a bit of sanding was needed!
There’s a real sense of achievement making your own piece of furniture! I’m quite shy, and the course helped me come out of my shell in terms of meeting new people and working as part of a team. I often feel anxious going into new environments or new places, but the staff and tutor at WOMEN’STEC were really supportive and helped me feel comfortable.
Not only did I improve my carpentry skills but I developed more confidence and my career has a clear direction. My goal now is to go on to complete a Diploma in Joinery further developing my skills before I enter the world of work as a female carpenter.
For more information about WOMEN’STEC or courses available, please contact us on 02890 749810 or visit our website www.womenstec.org