Meet Carmen Barlow
Growing up Carmen had always wanted to work in construction. Her Grandad was in the trade but he was always of the mindset that no women from his family would ever enter the industry. Fast forward then to Carmen’s teenage years which saw her drop out of education and disengage somewhat, she found her own way into what she terms as “tomboy” jobs (despite her Mum’s efforts to encourage her down the hairdressing route) ranging from factory work to then becoming SIA qualiﬁed and working in security at night clubs, boxing matches etc. In her own words, she never wanted a “girlie” job, always knowing that her heart was in hands-on physical roles.
Never really taken seriously when it came to Carmen expressing her desire to move into construction, she by chance found out about a local employability service (Homes for Humanity, based in Accrington) advertising on Facebook that they had access to funding linked to interviews and jobs in construction and that she should chat with them.
It was through the working partnership between Homes for Humanity and WaMT’s parent company Procure Plus that within a week of the call being made, Carmen was booked onto her IPAF, PASMA, Conﬁned Space, Working at Heights, Asbestos Awareness and COTS Health & Safety courses, along with a CSCS touchscreen test to attain her CISRS Scaffolders Labouring card – all funded through the Procure Plus being a CITB OSE (On site experience) HUB. An interview was immediately set up with Kate Kirk at Kirk Scaffolding who offered Carmen a job there and then.