Home   News   Women boost their career options thanks to woodwork course

Women boost their career options thanks to woodwork course

Posted on 21 Nov 2023


Unemployed women from across North Ayrshire have been honing their woodwork skills through a specialist course in Irvine.

Through pilot scheme Women into Woodworking, the group has learned basic DIY and how to use tools safely, and they also focused on teamwork and confidence building.

The craft course, held in The Maritime Museum, was delivered in partnership with North Ayrshire Council’s employability service’s Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire programme.

The women devoted 16 hours per week over an eight-week period to picking up new skills, and CEiS Ayrshire supported them to explore employment and career options.

It has been hailed a great success and participant Claire Carswell – who had been out of work for five years due to illness – said it helped her “get back on track”.

Claire, who is a reiki master, made items including a box to store her throws and a pelmet for her kitchen curtains and is now considering joining a more advanced woodwork course.

“It has been good fun – all women learning new skills. I managed to put my fence back together after it came down in the wind the other night.  I knew what to do, which was great.”

Claire has now been in touch with Business Gateway, and hopes to start her own craft business.

Others joined the course for a variety of reasons, including mental health issues, being away from the work environment for family reasons and lacking confidence.

Ruth Peden found out about the course through Facebook and enjoyed making a wooden Christmas tree, a box and candle holders.

She added: “It has been a lot of fun. I have made a lot of things. In fact, I came in with a list! I have got my whole Christmas started!

“I would now like to do an advanced course, or get into creative work.”

The course was designed to engage the women and help them prepare for future employment. As it progressed, they worked together to build an impressive small wooden dinghy as well as personal items like coffee tables, bird houses and a sushi boat.

Accredited training offered as part of Women into Woodworking included health and safety, First Aid, manual handling, noise awareness, basic fire safety and asbestos awareness.

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Green Environment and Economy, said: “This pilot scheme has been a great success and offered the women an opportunity to expand their skill set, meet new people and improve their employment options.

“Taking the first step to learn something new and enhance skills can often be difficult for people for a whole variety of reasons, so well done to everyone involved.”

The next steps for the group include joining a construction course for women delivered by CEiS, as part of Your Next Move Working North Ayrshire, and looking for part-time work that fits around family life.

The Council’s Employability Service delivers a range of support through its Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire programme.

Contracted partners delivering Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire include We Work for Families and CEIS Ayrshire, who all contribute to delivering a wide range of support to help individuals prepare and progress into employment.

To access any of the opportunities delivered by Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire please email employability@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

You can also find out how the team at our Employability Hub can help you with everything from CVs and application forms to college courses and interview techniques here: https://tinyurl.com/4wvvzubd