Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Places for People launches Women into Trades programme

Helping increase female representation in the construction sector over the next three years

Places for People Group has today launched a new initiative which will help young women establish careers in construction. 

The Group is actively encouraging applications onto its Women into Trades programme – an initiative born out of a commitment to diversity and inclusion. It will offer currently unemployed women aged 18-24 in six geographical locations, career opportunities within the Group’s affordable housing businesses. The initiative is being delivered by Places for People in partnership with not-for-profit training company Ixion, the Positive Transformation Group – which connects ethical businesses together – and Women into Construction (WiC). 

Cohorts will undertake an initial seven-week course, during which they will join Q&A sessions with female industry leaders, secure work experience, undertake online training, and be given a free toolkit to help them in their career pursuits. 

Debi Marriott-Lavery is Group Executive Director - Affordable Housing for Places for People and said: “The UK construction sector is still incredibly male-dominated, with females making up less than 16% of the workforce. I believe that through positive action we can redress the balance, giving young women the skills and training they need to start their career in construction. 

“This is an incredible sector to be a part of; within our Group we are creating and maintaining affordable homes in exciting new communities across the country. This is a great opportunity for young women to come and be a part of our journey, while also laying solid foundations for their future.”

Upon their completion of the initial training programme, 12 graduates will be offered a two-year Level 2 Apprenticeship, working with Places for People Group’s construction repairs and maintenance departments. Following a performance-based review at the end of their apprenticeship, each candidate will then be offered a permanent position with Places for People. Trainees not moving onto the apprenticeship programme will also be supported long-term by Positive Transformation Group, which will help them find alternative training programmes.

Kath Moore MBE, Managing Director of WiC said: “We are delighted to work alongside Places for People, a Group which shares our values and commitment to increase female representation in the construction sector. WiC is dedicated to changing the face of construction and is committed to developing new ways to support construction contractors to create lasting change in their businesses – this initiative is a great example of our work in action.” 

Dan Brown, Founder of Positive Transformation Group added: “Positive Transformation Group is committed to systemic positive change in society with a meritocratic, inclusive and diverse workforce being at the forefront of our vision for the future. Having the opportunity to create powerful collaborations for change with forward thinking industry leaders such as Places for People, HACT and Ixion, really brings this vision of the future to life.”

The news comes as Places for People also announced it has signed the Plentific Women’s Trade Network Pledge to further demonstrate its commitment to women in the industry, by removing barriers and providing access to job opportunities, support and training. Debi concluded: “Our Group is committed to establishing a more inclusive organisation, and these are just some of the initiatives we are undertaking right now to help underrepresented groups establish careers. I am proud to announce the programme and look forward to welcoming our trainees in the coming weeks.”

The Women into Trades programme will be offered to applicants in Leeds, Derby, Edinburgh, Preston, Huntingdon and Milton Keynes. Applications can be made now by visiting