Student wins Women in Property 2016 Central Scotland Award

WiP awards
Graeme Hadden, Land Engineering; Hayley Johnson, Heriot Watt University and Gemma Smith, Sweet Group & Chairwoman of Women In Property (Picture courtesy of Tom Manley Photography)

The Association of Women in Property (WiP) has been working to encourage girls and young women to enter the UK property and construction industry through an extensive education programme that includes its National Student Awards, now in their tenth year.

Local student Hayley Johnston, studying Construction Project Management at Heriot Watt University has come top in the Central Scotland competition, sponsored by Land Engineering, which recognises the talent available to the industry at the earliest possible stage, while students are still studying.

The Awards aim to highlight to industry the necessity to link with Universities early in the education process and also improve the students’ knowledge on the career options available to them. Many secure work placements as a direct result of competing in the Awards, which often translate into permanent positions upon graduation.

Gemma Smith, chairman of the Central Scotland Branch, said: “Hayley has done really well to win the regional Award and we are delighted she will be representing this region at the national final in September. This is a tough competition with some extremely talented, enthusiastic and professional young women taking part, all of which bodes well for the industry recruitment pipeline.

“But this is very much a pipeline and the industry can’t afford to have any blockages. It is crying out for more young people to come on board. Despite the skills shortage, careers in property and construction are still largely forgotten, particularly for young women, when looking ahead past their National Qualifications. We are calling upon schools – and parents – to remember the amazing opportunities offered by this industry, when they are giving careers advice.”

The Student Awards are sponsored nationally by three major industry names Bouygues UK, real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield and housebuilder Linden Homes.

The regional judging panel includes representatives from different industry disciplines, with Stuart Dorward of Cushman & Wakefield, Colin Clement of Sweett (UK) Limited, Craig McLaren of RTPI and Graeme Hadden from Land Engineering taking part this year.

Hayley Johnson (Picture courtesy of Tom Manley Photography)
Hayley Johnson (Picture courtesy of Tom Manley Photography)

Hayley receives a cheque for £300 and a trophy.

She said: “I was thrilled when my University nominated me for these Awards and the process has been an amazing experience. I’ve learned a lot, met some great people including the judges - I’d like to thank them for putting their faith in me. Women in Property’s Student Award’s programme is a fantastic platform for females coming into a currently male dominated industry.”

In addition to Hayley there were four other regional finalists, all of whom were nominated by their Universities. They were invited to go before a judging panel of industry experts, where they were questioned on a piece of coursework and topical industry issues.

The finalists were:

  • Maelys Garreau – Architecture – Glasgow University
  • Katie Punler – Quantity Surveying – Heriot Watt University

  • Lizzi Smyth – Urban Planning & Property Development – Heriot Watt University
  • Paula Pappas – Civil Engineering with Architecture – Glasgow University
  • The national final will be held at Claridge’s, London on Wednesday 21st September when students from across the UK compete for the National Student Award trophy.

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