Women’s centre agrees training deal with housing group

Women's college and social enterprise centre Blackburne House has formed an agreement with social landlord Liverpool Mutual Homes.

The agreement will see Blackburne House Maintenance, set up as part of Blackburne Houses' construction academy last September with a £75,000 donation from the Esmé Fairburn Foundation, work with LMH to provide tenants a choice of male or female operatives in the delivery of maintenance.

Women undertaking training in Blackburne House's construction and training academy will be offered work experience which can lead onto employment opportunities. BH Maintenance provides plastering, tiling, decorating, joinery, bricklaying.

Claire Dove, chief executive of Blackburne House, said: "BH Maintenance is the realisation of a long ambition for Blackburne House, I am proud of the achievements of the women who have made this happen. Blackburne House has a long heritage of providing access to employment through education: the Construction Training Academy will now be able to provide lasting employment opportunities for our students, which will transform their lives and those close to them."

Paul Worthington, managing director of Housing Maintenance Solutions, part of LMH, said: "We are thrilled to link with Blackburne House to provide opportunities for these skilled individuals to work with HMS in providing services to our customers. We are committed to supporting social enterprise initiatives and see BH Maintenance as an excellent role model for women and the construction industry in general."

BH Maintenance has recruited trades-women to train, mentor and inspire the students, providing work-based learning and peer-to-peer support.

The venture launches with £75,000 support funding from the Esmé Fairburn Foundation.
Blackburne House is one of the leading women's education centres, established in 1983; the centre was set up as a Women's Technology & Education Centre offering courses for women in training and education, primarily in sectors where women were underrepresented, such as technology, IT and construction.

Women represent 10% of the UK construction workforce, of that 10% only 1% are out on site.

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