trades

Trade Roles: Celebrated Diversity and Equality

Our society has come far, compared to 35 years ago. If we take gender roles for example, Sky News had report in 1964, 42% of UK population believed that women should be the homemaker, and men would be the overall breadwinner. Now, 35 years later only 8% people still hold onto this.

When we talk about diversity, it’s so much more than just genders too. From disabilities to race, workplaces are expanding their employment preferences and removing obstacles they’ve wrongly placed before people. And as a result, we can celebrate the success of this jump with the following trade success stories.

Managing 25 quarry at 22

One trade job success reported was of Emily Burridge, by the BBC in 2019. Burridge had entered into the world of construction via an apprenticeship scheme. But this isn’t just an example of a woman getting her foot in the door to a stereotypically male-orientated industry. Burridge hasn’t just gotten into the sector — she’s excelled, making her a brilliant example of why the industry must recognise the importance of equality and diversity.

Now, being a technical production manager, Burridge manages 25 quarries at the age of 22. Not only is she representing the women in a male-dominated sector, she’s also championing the case for age equality and diversity too. Though she is only in her early twenties, Burridge replaced a man who was of retirement age. Even though her staff are mostly older men, Burridge has had no problem in integrating with and leading her staff.

Apprentice of the year 2019 winner

2019 was the year for trade job successes. Later in the year, Todd Scanlon won the prestigious “UK’s Best Apprentice” award from On The Tools. Thirty-year-old Scanlon has Down’s Syndrome, but this has proven to be no obstacle for him on his journey to forge a career. Scanlon has always wanted to work in scaffolding, and after talking to a local company and showing his determination, Scanlon has not only become a permanent worker on their team but has been voted the UK’s best apprentice 2019.

Scalon’s manager spoke on how valuable he is to the team. He’s hard-working, enthusiastic, polite, and the customers love him. Taking Scanlon on as a member of the team wasn’t any cause for concern for Coles Scaffolding, and the apprentice has more than proven his skill and willingness to learn over and over again. What more could an employer ask for from his workforce?

“I think it’s mainly because it is thought people with a disability shouldn’t be in our industry,” Martyn Coles, Scanlon’s employer, said of the win. “He’s just shown that you can do it with the right guidance. He’s just a likeable guy.”

Building a stronger industry

As we’re at the beginning of 2020, this year seems to be promising for diversity and equality being set grow further. And this, says Richard Walker from waste removal experts Skip Hire, is exactly what these industries need:

“For too many years the industry has suffered with a negative perception and reputation creating a stigma that has acted as a barrier to entry to a more diverse talent pool of workers. As innovation and technology play its part in modernising ways of working in the sector, together with schemes such as apprenticeships, we’re not only seeing a more diverse workplace, but a more talented, skilled, and varied workforce.”

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