WOMEN’STEC students took part in an inspiring site visit hosted by McAleer & Rushe construction firm following the recent ‘topping out’ of new office buildings in Belfast. The project, commissioned by Belfast City Council, will result in a new 100,000 square foot Grade A office accommosation worth £24.7 million.

The students donned safety gear before taking a guided tour led by McAleer & Rushe Project Manager, Margaret Conway, to hear about the works completed, carpentry aspects of the build, and the timeline for completion.  The visit provided a fantastic opportunity for students to see first-hand the development of this prime site in the heart of Belfast City Centre.

Part of the day’s programme included hearing from McAleer & Rushe female staff members about the job they do and how they got involved in working within the construction industry.  Students also heard from South East Regional College and Belfast Metropolitan College about career options, courses and higher level apprenticeships.

The visit complemented the WOMEN’STEC Supporting People – Empowering Communities (SPEC) programme.  The project is part funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020, the Department for the Economy, and Belfast City Council. SPEC runs in partnership with Clanmil Housing Group and is backed by leading construction firm Gilbert-Ash Ltd and JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd.

The SPEC programme provides skills and employability training in non-traditional work areas to women aged 16+.  Accredited courses include plumbing, joinery, painting and decorating, tiling, horticulture, information technology and first aid, helping to equip participants for the world of work.  Through the SPEC programme, training schemes for more than 500 participants who face difficult barriers to employment and training will be created over a three year period.

WOMEN’STEC would like to thank McAleer & Rushe for hosting this excellent and inspirational site visit.