Albion joins the move for equality in construction

Albion's Stone Detailer, Yazmin Impson, is a role model for women in construction.

About 80% of the UK population aged from 16 to 64 is employed, the highest proportion since these records began in 1971. Roughly half of those people (47%) are women. But in the construction industry only 13% of employees are women, according to the Office for National Statistics. It is the worst ratio in any sector of the economy. In order to make the sector more attractive to women companies are being encouraged to invite the women they employ to talk about their experiences.

So Portland stone company Albion has done just that. Its Stone Detailer, Yazmin Impson, says: “I always had the idea of stonemasonry in the back of my mind since I tried lettercutting in school. I’m a very keen artist. I enjoy drawing, painting and creating clay sculptures, so with this and encouragement from my parents once I completed my Level 3 BTec Diploma in Art & Design back in 2012 I enrolled on a level 2 banker masonry course at Weymouth college.”

Weymouth is one of the few colleges in the UK that teaches stonemasonry and stone conservation.

“After one year full-time on the course my masonry skills were enough to be taken on as an apprentice stonemason at Albion Stone.”

Albion Stone mines Portland limestone on the Dorset island of Portland. It is an equal opportunities employer and encourages anyone who wants to work in the stone industry to do so. It says there are plenty of opportunities to grow and develop skills in mining, masonry, contracts management, stone detailing in the drawing office, estimating and much more.

“Since then I’ve gone on to win various competitions and I was also a national finalist in the UK SkillBuild competition in 2016.

“I can’t really say I’ve faced huge difficulties in this industry or at this company while working as a stonemason. Everyone accepted me as they would any other young apprentice starting out. I never felt like I didn’t fit in.”