Hodgkinson Builders

Hodgkinson Builders: Well-travelled Jilly finds firm foundations in construction

A YOUNG woman who attended eight primary schools as a child has found firm foundations in the construction world at Hodgkinson Builders.

Jilly Rapley may only be 21, but she is relishing her role as technical co-ordinator the Derby-based firm.

Jilly was born in Vietnam to a Vietnamese mum and an English father, and the family moved around a lot, relocating back and forth between Qatar, Oman and England for her dad’s job. She attended eight primary schools, which Jilly says was hard.

“People say ‘you are lucky to have travelled’, but it’s also very difficult when you are young and want to stick to one place and not leave friends you’ve just made”, said Jilly.

But she added: “It’s made me well-rounded – I think it has made me more respectful toward other people and other cultures and how they live.”

The family settled in Derby and now Jilly, of Chellaston, is carving out a career in construction at Hodgkinson Builders. She took the plunge into the sector after trying out apprenticeships in mortgage brokering administration and sales administration.

Women in Construction

Speaking ahead of Women in Construction Week and International Women’s Day, she said: “What I love about my job (at Hodgkinson Builders) is the people I work with, and the feeling of getting something accomplished.

“There’s always something new to learn every day in house-building and commercial-building.”

According to the GMB union, women account for just 12.5 per cent of the workforce in the construction sector. In her role, Jilly deals with everything from hiring on-site equipment and materials to covering for buyer Martha Birkett when she is away.

She also works with Hodgkinson’s business development manager, Matthew Finnie, in dealing with land and talking to clients.

Jilly started with the firm in September 2019 and has recently been enrolled by Hodgkinson in a BA Hons construction management degree, attending the University of Derby a day-and-a-half each week alongside her paid work.

She said: “When I first applied for the job, I didn’t know anything about construction. “In school you only heard of bricklayers and that was it.

“I did just think it would all be men, but after starting with Hodgkinsons I found there are women who do work in the construction industry which was great to see.

“There are so many different roles in construction that are available to everyone, regardless of your gender.”

Jilly offered wise words to any females considering a role in construction: “I would encourage women to be in construction.

“I think it’s a really good industry to be in.”

A word from the Director…

Ian Hodgkinson, managing director of Hodgkinson Builders, said: “The construction industry is a great place to be, and there are countless opportunities to carve a prosperous career.

“Whether those careers are for males or females is irrelevant, as long as they have the right skills.

“Jilly is growing from strength to strength in her role and we look forward to her skills developing further.”

To find out more about Hodgkinson Builders, visit www.bricklayers.com and to find out more about KuKu Connect please head over to our join page.