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Forterra set to launch UK’s first all-female bricklaying competition to mark International Women’s Day

Leading building products manufacturer Forterra is preparing to launch Bricklaying Forterra Females (BFF) next week on Monday 4th March, which is set to be the first ever all-female bricklaying contest in the UK and has been planned to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8th March.  

BFF is a groundbreaking national competition which aims to find the best female apprentice and student bricklayers in the country, whilst encouraging more girls and women to consider careers in bricklaying or construction. Statistics show that women currently make up fewer than 2% of tradespeople in the UK, a figure which has barely changed for over 15 years.

The competition will take place at Havering College in London on Monday, which is the first day of National Apprenticeship Week and four days before International Women’s Day. The contest will see eight female student bricklayers from colleges across the UK compete for six hours to build a competition piece designed by experts. Judges Christian Hatherall-Good from Brooklands College and David Jones from Havering College will choose the winner and runners-up.

Kerri Chambers, a former student bricklayer who is now Assistant Quantity Surveyor for a London construction firm, and who won a bricklaying competition at Havering College while still training, said:

“The industry is always looking for more people to join up, and these days there are more options for women who want to get involved and build a career in the sector.

“It’s great that a company like Forterra is helping to raise the profile of women in bricklaying by organising the BFF competition. I began my career as a bricklayer when I was 19, and ten years on I’ve managed to progress in the industry. I put my success down to having a background in the trades; it’s hard work, but it can lead to a satisfying and rewarding career.”

The Forterra-run competition is supported by the Brick Development Association, the Association of Brickwork Contractors and Havering College. Forterra will be donating its iconic London Bricks to Havering College for use during the competition. 

Stephen Harrison, Chief Executive of Forterra, said:

“As a leading manufacturer of building products, we want to do our bit in attracting new recruits to the construction industry.

“Construction has always traditionally been seen as male-dominated, but there are increasing numbers of women working across the sector, and by organising this new competition we hope more women will be inspired to explore the opportunities it has to offer.”

Bob Noseda, Sector Skills Advisor at Havering College, said:

“We’re very proud to be hosting the first BFF competition, and look forward to welcoming female bricklayers from across the country to take part in the contest during National Apprenticeship Week.”

Forterra is committed to building confidence and inspiring ambition in the next generation of bricklayers and construction workers. The company donated tens of thousands of bricks to colleges across the UK in 2018 as part of SkillBuild, and will continue this support in 2019. This year Forterra is establishing London Brick Construction Hubs at six further education colleges across the country, in preparation for which it has donated 12,000 London Bricks to each of the colleges. BFF will be followed on 29th March by Forterra’s Best in London Brick competition, which is open to professional bricklayers and will also be held at Havering College.

For more information about Forterra, visit www.forterra.co.uk. You can also follow the company on Facebook and Twitter via @ForterraUK and on LinkedIn.


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