Doncaster’s Sally achieves first female status in the UK

Sally Cave on site
Sally Cave on site

A young woman has made history within her industry by becoming the first female to qualify to install gas membranes and to train others in the process.

Sally Cave is the first qualified female gas membrane installer and training assessor in the UK, and has received high praise from three leading trade organisations.

The 28-year-old project manager at Doncaster Membrane Installation Ltd, completed an NVQ Level ll in gas membrane installation to achieve her new status.

According to UCATT, the trade union for the construction industry, women make up just 11 per cent of the construction workforce and just one per cent of workers on site.

The number of women working as roofers, bricklayers and glaziers is so low that it is unmeasurable, claims the Office for National Statistics.

Sally, who lives in Sheffield, has worked at the family owned business since 2013 and began studying for her qualification in 2014. She can now oversee the fitting of membranes on construction sites where there is deemed to be a risk of gas ingress from the strata below the buildings.

Sally said: “When I started work here, I was doing one day a week on admin tasks helping out my dad who started the company in 1993, when I was only four.

“I quickly realised that I could hardly tell the lads what to do unless I fully understood all the processes, so I enrolled to study through the Construction Industry Training Board approved British Geomembrane Association course.

“I really enjoy the training side of things and hope to develop a training school that becomes a beacon of excellence for the industry.

“DMI already runs upskilling courses for general construction workers who want to be able to lay membranes and become qualified technicians.

“Unfortunately, we are still seeing unqualified people laying membranes - which is a really dangerous practice as inadequately laid membranes can be killers.”

Sally was presented with her NVQ Level II certificate by Martin Cockcroft, new Chair of the BGA.

He said: “Sally has clearly shown that there are no barriers of personal development in our industry with the right training, support and motivation.”