Yesterday the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held the opening ceremony of the exhibition on women and young people in the construction sector. The exhibition is organised by the European Builders Confederation (EBC) and the EESC will host it for one month.
This photo exhibition reveals the inspiring stories of many talented people, each of them with a different path but all very similar for their passion and ambition. The exhibition intends to bring the experiences of these women and these young people to the EESC to let them speak about how varied and rewarding working in the construction sector can be. Around hundred members of the EESC and other stakeholders participated in the ceremony. Georgios Dassis as EESC President and Patrick Liébus as EBC President & member of the Employers' Group opened the exhibition and wished that these stories could work as an example for the new generation.
Challenges of construction…
The construction sector is the EU's largest industrial employer with 15 million workers. However, it only has a very small percentage of women and young people. 1.5 million construction workers in the EU are female, while 92% of the sector's working population is over 25 years old. There are several reasons for this situation, ranging from the stigma associated with skilled trades and the misperception that there are fewer career opportunities in construction, to the fact that the sector is perceived as being predominantly for men.
… And opportunities in construction
This situation is now changing. Nowadays, construction implies less physical force and tasks are more mechanical. It requires qualified people to deal with new green technologies and make zero-carbon homes a reality. The sector has also a big potential to reduce unemployment, because it really needs both specialist and general professional figures. In certain countries the industry does not have enough apprentices to replace retiring workers and cope with demand. Women and young people are therefore the future of the sector. This exhibition has the ambition to contribute to this change.