St Helens Chamber and Torus work together to help women into the construction industry

18 May 2021

Business Jobs/Apprenticeships


St Helens Chamber and the Torus Foundation have been working together to encourage Torus residents into the ever-growing construction industry. During a two-week training programme at St Helens Chamber’s Construction Training Centre, a group of women have been taught the basics of construction and have listened to talks to inspire their careers.

The Women in Construction programme is delivered by expert training advisers in St Helens Chamber’s purpose-built construction centre, and helps unemployed Torus residents to try their hand at a new trade.

Neil Rigby, Team Leader at St Helens Chamber Construction Centre, commented: “We’re pleased to be working closely with Torus to help these women into the growing construction industry.

“The industry is still quite male dominated in parts so we’re really keen to help more women access opportunities in construction, and the partnership with Torus is a great way for both businesses to support the local community.”

During the course, Torus residents are able to try their hand at plastering, joinery and even upcycling furniture. The women learn the basic skills they need to set them on their way to a career in construction and allows them to add valuable experience to their CV.

Alongside the practical skills, trainees on the Women in Construction course also benefit from insights of construction professionals.

Phillip Roberts, Employment Adviser at the Torus Foundation commented: ““We have been working in partnership with the Chamber for the past two years and we now have tenants working across the sector in a variety of different roles.

The programme is an excellent stepping stone into the construction industry and the enthusiasm and commitment of the attendees, never fails to astound me. Long may it continue.”

Kate Harrison, from the Lane End Group, shared her insights with the trainees and showed that there are lots of opportunities for women to progress through the ranks in the construction industry.

Kate explained: “It’s really important to encourage women into the construction industry and have that diversity on site; the industry is much less male dominated now but there’s still work to do. Being a woman on one of these sites can be a massive bonus due to women’s unique skill sets and the fact that having women on site transforms the dynamic of a site – making it much more productive.

“On every site we have we will take on at least one local Apprentice. We’re keen on supporting the communities we build in, and creating local jobs so there’s plenty of opportunity. Construction is a great place to work your way up, all you need is enthusiasm, a willingness to learn, and great communication skills.”

St Helens Chamber and Torus continue to work closely to benefit local St Helens residents and ensure that training is available for anyone in the community who wants it. Both businesses are dedicated to supporting the local community, and will continue to join forces to create even more opportunities for learning and development.

Neil commented: “The Women in Construction course has been a great success, and we are continuing this successful partnership with Torus with even more training courses. Coming soon are Upcycling and Garden Maintenance courses, which we’re sure Torus residents will benefit from.

“Its great to be able to share knowledge and resources for the benefit of St Helens residents, and we look forward to working with Torus in the future.”

To find out more about construction training at St Helens Chamber Construction centre, email