Despite a regional construct ion boom and growing demand for experienced, home-grown workers, few women are jumping into the skilled trades as bricklayers, plumbers and electricians, according to Bill Haynes, West Midlands regional director of Bluestone.

The building firm has its regional head offices in Birmingham.

Mr Haynes, who would like to see more women entering the profession, believes the working world remains very gendered and one of the main reasons why women aren't opting for trades work is 'image'.

Women currently make up just ten per cent of the UK construction workforce and just one per cent of tradespeople.

"The construction industry still has an image problem with women who see this kind of work and the environment as dirty, unattractive and hostile towards females which really isn't the case," said Mr Haynes. "As an industry we face a serious shortage of skilled trades people and we need to work with schools to change industry perceptions and make more young women aware of the terrific career opportunities and rewards the construction trades offer."

He would like to see more female students actively encouraged to participate in school industry and technology courses that lead to careers in skilled construction trades. These efforts could also be reinforced by bringing strong, inspiring trades-women into schools to talk about their profession, the benefits and the rewards.

Mr Haynes added: "The more young women know these trades are out there, the better because there are many great career opportunities."