16/02/2018

Inspiring young people about careers in construction

Tom Glover from Construction Youth Trust discusses the skills gap in the construction industry and how initiatives like Budding Brunels help  promote the variety of rewarding roles available.

In November, we welcomed twenty-one students, aged 16-17 years old from four schools in Nottingham onto our Budding Brunels course. 

This is a three-day workshop, designed to raise awareness of career opportunities in construction, and deliver employability skills training. Guided site tours of two of Scape Group's delivery partner GF Tomlinson’s largest projects in Nottingham were also given, where students visited the sites of the Broadmarsh Car Park demolition and the construction of the University of Nottingham’s new Advanced Manufacturing Building. 

Attracting talented young people to the construction is one of the biggest challenges the industry is currently facing. Programmes such as the Budding Brunels initiative are great examples of how industry professionals can challenge misconceptions. Providing face-to-face guidance and real-life experience is the best way to engage a generation of future workers, and inspire them to take the next step in accessing the right training and qualifications.

– Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive

The Skills Shortage

Over the last three years, through the Budding Brunels programme, I’ve been able to visit some of the most high-profile infrastructure and construction projects across the UK. At every single site, there’s been a team of people who are passionate about getting the next generation into in the industry. However, there are several challenges which we face that could lead to the loss of significant experience in the industry. With 19% of the workforce due to retire in the next five to ten years according to the Office of National Statistics, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the outdated image of our industry among young people, their teachers and parents. We all recognise the need to attract more young people into the industry, and that’s what the Budding Brunels programme does. 

Challenging perceptions

According to a recent survey, more than 50% of young people said they'd never considered a career in construction and 50% have never had any information on the career opportunities within the industry at school. Through the Budding Brunels programme, we give students the opportunity to see and experience the industry from the inside; meeting inspiring professionals and discussing the range of progression routes in the industry. They get the chance to visit live construction sites and speak to industry representatives, which can lead to work placements for at least 20% of students. 

Have we managed to inspire the young people of Nottingham during the recent Budding Brunels course? Definitely! The students enjoyed the course, learned more about the industry and now all 21 participants can see themselves working in the built environment in a variety of roles, from Quantity Surveyors to Project Managers.

By providing these young people with the opportunity to experience the industry from the inside, meet role models who can inspire them about the different roles within the industry, and helping them to develop the skills that will enable them to succeed in a career in construction, we’re one step closer to making our sector the inspirational first choice for young people. 

This project was made possible by Scape Group, G F Tomlinson, AR Demolition and Nottingham City Council, who all share the same passion to work collaboratively to change the image of the construction industry and inspire young people about the wonderful careers the sector can offer. 

As a family-run business we have a strong ethos on skills and training and are committed to developing the skills of young people to help them reach their full potential. Schemes like this are helping to tackle the skills gap within the industry and we’re proud to have worked with our partners to inspire this group of young individuals and encourage them to consider a future career in construction.

– Kevin Dodds, Operations Manager for G F Tomlinson

On behalf of Construction Youth Trust, I am grateful that Scape Group is supporting us to deliver six Budding Brunels school engagement projects across the UK and I look forward to our upcoming projects.

Tom GloverWritten by:

Tom Glover

Partnerships Manager, Construction Youth Trust
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Nottingham Students On The Budding Brunels Programme
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