Anisha – Apprentice Project Manager

Anisha was interested in pursuing a career in the construction industry, and first engaged with Women into Construction (WiC) in January 2020 when she attended a WIC information event held at the Birmingham Perry Barr Construction Hub, promoting a programme WiC delivered in partnership with the Home Building Skills Partnership (HBSP), CITB and Rikem, giving women the opportunity to receive two-weeks of construction-related training and two-weeks work experience placement with a Home Builder in the West Midlands.

With an interest in construction and a desire to build a sustainable career, Anisha was keen to explore the range of roles the industry had to offer, discover how she could utilise her transferable skills and gain hands on training and experience before deciding to make a career change.

Anisha successfully completed her training in Level 1 Health & Safety, First Aid and Duty Access Marshall (traffic marshall). She also went on to pass her CSCS test and gain her card.

Anisha was interested in a variety of positions, especially site management and health and safety, and wanted a placement that would allow her to better understand the entire process of housebuilding.

WIC brokered her an opportunity with Bellway Homes on a large-scale site so that, over the course of her two-week placement, she could see home building in a variety of stages as well as shadowing a selection of Bellway employees to find out more about their roles.

Anisha thoroughly enjoyed her placement, commenting that she “enjoyed being on site, seeing the projects develop and getting to know all the people behind the hard work, I especially enjoyed snagging the homes to make sure they were perfect”.

Bellway were highly impressed with Anisha’s work ethic and initiative and were keen to offer her an apprenticeship with them as a trainee site manager, however Covid-19 struck and all job offers and apprenticeships were put on hold.

With the pandemic outbreak and the subsequent lockdown and social distancing restrictions imposed, WiC quickly established a CV19 contingency plan which included a remote mentoring programme in place of physical work-placements. This enabled WIC to continue to work and maintain relationships with our existing contractors, including those on furlough, as well as enabling our women to stay connected to the industry and gain valuable support and career guidance.

Anisha was paired with Alison Tucker (St. Modwen) as WiC Project Manager, Steph Sheppard, felt that due to Alison’s ‘Early Years’ job role she would be the perfect mentor to discuss alternative construction career options with. Steph wanted to highlight other possibilities outside of home building, to Anisha, and assist her to broaden both her horizons and expectations in these unprecedented times.

As Anisha was looking for a career that offered stability and longevity Alison suggested HS2 as a company for Anisha to consider, as the scale and labour requirements associated with the project are vast and far reaching. Anisha commented that the mentoring benefited her as she “had no knowledge of rail and was given an honest insight which allowed me to do my own research to understand whether it could be a career prospect. It was brilliant to get an opportunity to have one to one specialist support that enhances your knowledge and allows you to proceed towards the next steps into finding the correct employment suited to you”.

Alison stated that “I will never forget this superb initiative and I am so happy I have been able to give back to a brilliant organisation that is always truly trying to support minority groups into this brilliant industry. Whilst I was on furlough this gave me an activity to focus on and a way to give back whilst also staying safe.  I found it has boosted my own confidence and given me ideas on how to access and support people in a new way”.

Anisha has applied for a two-year Apprentice Project Manager with HS2. To date we are awaiting news of her application.