Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 09.24.41Top five housebuilder Linden Homes is sponsoring next year’s nationwide search by the Association of Women in Property (WiP) for the industry’s most promising student.

The National Student Awards is run annually by WiP, an organisation which works with businesses and other organisations to help redress the gender imbalance in the sector.

Linden Homes’ involvement in the initiative during 2016 was announced at this year’s black tie awards ceremony at Claridge’s in London.

Amy Gray, 23, from Gateshead recently joined Linden Homes North East in a graduate trainee sales and marketing position, whilst Caitlin Morton, also 23, from Hartlepool, joined parent company – Galliford Try Partnerships North – as a graduate development coordinator.

Sara Holmes, development director with the business, said:  “We recognise the need to increase knowledge and understanding of the industry and have been actively working with organisations like Women in Property and more widely within schools, colleges and universities to encourage more students to embark on a career in construction.

”Our support for the National Student Awards strongly signals our determination to encourage more women into the industry.  As well as facing a skills shortage in construction, there is a diverse range of opportunities for women both on and off site and they have the knowledge and capabilities to help tackle the issues we face and build the homes we need.

“Linden Homes’ sponsorship gives us the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the UK’s best female property students and to practice what we preach by offering work placements and the support to build a career on an equal footing.”

For the 2016 award, a single, national champion will be picked by a panel of judges from a shortlist of 10 regional winners. Each entrant is put forward by their university course leader and interviewed by a regional panel, focusing on their personal skills and potential.

Each set of judges will comprise a mix of industry and academic representatives, to which Linden Homes will contribute senior executives and venues to meet to decide the winners. Gender or membership of WiP is not relevant.

Lisa-Jane Risk, National Chairman-elect of WiP, said: “The commitment to and enthusiasm of the industry to the awards is critical, so we are really thrilled that Linden Homes is backing the scheme.  Their impressive approach to training and career development is a great fit with the awards and will be highly valued by those of our finalists who secure a work placement with the business.  We very much look forward to working with them.”

Although a CITB survey entitled ‘Educating the Educators’ found that 35% of career advisors believe construction is an unattractive career choice for men and women, Linden Homes is optimistic that it can change this perception by offering a number of routes to employment for school and college leavers alike. The company’s ‘future talent’ programme includes trainee and apprenticeship schemes and a graduate development programme covering a range of functions including commercial, operations, technical, sales and marketing and support services. These programmes allow candidates to gain a full insight across the business, whilst gaining training around their working day.

Galliford Try, Linden Homes’ parent company has entered the Job Crowd league table as one of the top 100 graduate companies to work for thanks to the career development programmes offered by the company.  Galliford Try also came within the top 10 for construction and civil engineering companies for graduates to develop their skills.