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To celebrate International Women’s Day, Lewisham College hosted electrical and plumbing competitions for female construction learners and tradeswomen this week at its specialised campus in Deptford Bridge.

The competitions, sponsored by ESG Limited, saw the electrical and plumbing trainees and tradeswomen complete an industry-standard task within a time limit with the finished entry pieces judged thoroughly by qualified professionals from the electrical and plumbing sectors.

Gerard Garvey, Principal at Lewisham College, said: “I have been hugely impressed with the level of skilled work that has been displayed today and I would like to congratulate all the contestants involved in the competitions.

“This type of event is an excellent platform to celebrate International Women’s Day and encourage more young people to pursue a career in the construction industry while empowering and recognising the talent, abilities and skills that women bring to the sector."

Vicky Foxcroft MP for Lewisham Deptford and Dawn Atkinson Lewisham Mayoress visited the College to speak to the participants during the contest. Vicky said:“I’m excited to be at Lewisham College today to celebrate International Women’s Day and see the fantastic work that takes place here to support and encourage women to pursue a career in the construction industry.  

“I’d like to congratulate the contestants for their hard work and want to take this opportunity to highlight the contribution that women make to the industry as skilled trade professionals and trainers of the future workforce."

Marylyn O’Kane, HR Director at ESG Limited, said: “This event is the first of its kind in the UK and part of our Buildsmart Skills initiative in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women in Construction Week 2022. It offers a fantastic opportunity to engage with industry leaders while shining light, not just on our employees but all females within the industry.”

Becky Bates, professional Plumber, and founder of BB Plumbing commented: “It is awesome to see all these young tradeswomen involved in competitions like these, especially for International Women’s Day, which makes it even more of a highlight. Women are underrepresented in the plumbing industry so I hope that events like this will encourage more women into the trade as we must reduce the gender gap and increase the talent pool of skilled workers out there.”

On the day, the contestants and learners from the College also had the opportunity to meet and network with representatives from construction sector employers, including YESSS Electrical, CIPHE (Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering), Geberit Fittings, Broughton Tools, as well as journalists from HIP and SPARKS construction industry magazines for plumbing and electrical apprentices, who were also present to report on the event.

The event concluded with an awards ceremony for both electrical and plumbing categories, where the winners received professional quality equipment and tools, to help them prepare for their careers in the trades.

The electrical competition winners were:

  • First place: Remi Newman
  • Second place: Sian Williams
  • Third place: Abbie Scudder

The plumbing competition winners were:

  • First place: Gracie Symon
  • Second place: Daisy Turner
  • Third place: Souraya Khennaf

IWD competition electric 640x480

IWD competition plumbing 640x480

To learn more about the Construction and Engineering courses offered at Lewisham College, visit

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