BLOG: Inspiring the next generation of East Midlands workers | Wates

Our framework partners are fully committed to inspiring the next generation through the provision of on the job training and skills. Wates providing valuable apprenticeship placements is a great example of the positive steps that can be taken to ensure young people are aware of the diverse range of opportunities available to them in the construction industry.”

Victoria Brambini, Managing Director – Scape Procure

At Wates, we were involved in a range of events over the summer designed to help young people in the East Midlands develop an awareness of the world of work and take their next steps towards a construction career.

As a former apprentice myself, I understand the importance of offering young people a variety of routes to employment. My apprenticeship at Wates has propelled me to the position I am in today and being able to use my role to advise and inspire young people from the area in which I live and work is incredibly rewarding.

Over the past few weeks, we have engaged with nearly 500 young people across the region, dedicating more than 220 hours of Wates’ time to promoting work and life skills to guide the next generation towards sustainable employment.

The events have formed part of our commitment as a partner on the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) frameworks, which are procured and managed by Scape Group to deliver construction projects for public bodies across the region.

Our empa projects – such as the new extensions for Mellers Primary School in Nottingham and Wolsey House Primary School in Leicester – will have a direct impact on the learning experiences of young people. But in addition to this, we have also delivered a series of school activities to engage students and encourage them to use their imaginations and challenge themselves.

During our Employability Day at Aldercar High School in Derbyshire, we invited pupils to plan a festival, considering requirements such as overall budget, marketing spend and merchandise sales. Held in collaboration with Futures, a Nottingham based social enterprise, the event required students to be creative and enabled them to learn valuable employability skills such as communication and collaboration.

We also recently hosted a stand at the ‘Give Yourself the Edge’ event at the Harvey Hadden Sports Village in Bilborough, which advised year 7 (Key Stage 3) students how their choice of academic subjects may help shape future job and career opportunities. Attendees left the event with a better understanding of the types of careers on offer in the East Midlands and what they can do to work towards a role in the industry of their choice.

Other initiatives included a Dragons’ Den-style activity at Sneinton Primary School, a Communications Workshop at Oakwood Academy and we also took part in the Bluecoat Academy STEM Festival in Nottingham. The latter saw us help participants build a giant tetrahedron, facilitating an understanding of science, maths and the teamwork required to bring the intricate structure to life.

Through our role on the empa frameworks, we have worked hard to ensure the areas we work in benefit from an economic impact, adding social value to communities. Developments such as the new Bluecoat Academy and Blaby Refuse Vehicle Depot have resulted in £46.9m being spent with local companies to date, helping to create employment for local people and generating a benefit of £125.6m for the East Midlands economy.

However, it is our work supporting local schools and careers organisations that will underpin our legacy as the next generation looks to enter the job market.

It is increasingly important to ensure jobseekers can help themselves stand out in a fiercely competitive job market. Our events have demonstrated how this can be done, while simultaneously providing an insight into the exciting opportunities that are available in the construction industry, as well as the East Midlands as a whole.

Hayley Millar is an empa Coordinator for Wates Construction in the Midlands

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