Construction Industry joins forces to inspire next generation | Wates

Wates Construction iConstruction event industry education

Collaborative event held at Derby College gives students a taste for construction.

School pupils from across Derby and Derbyshire have had a taster of the vast range of career possibilities on offer in the world of construction this month at an event aiming to bridge the gap between industry and education.

Led by Wates Construction and funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Derby and Derbyshire Skills and Employment Board (D2SEB), the iConstruct event saw industry peers join forces to deliver a series of activities designed to increase students’ understanding of the building sector.

Tasks included the ‘Mathematics of a Brick’ challenge, which saw the pupils provided with dimensions for a small room and asked to calculate how many bricks they needed and lay them out to the room dimensions. Participants were also given lego and tasked with building as tall a tower as possible using the least amount of bricks and construction time.

Meanwhile, the region’s school teachers attended a CITB workshop which addressed the issues and challenges in supporting pupils in their careers research.

Hosted by education consultant, Learn By Design, at Derby College, the event also featured input from Kier, Woodhead Construction and not-for-profit training group, Action for Construction. Participating schools from across Derby included: The Bolsover School, St Martins School, Tibshelf Community School, Whittington Green School and West Park School.

To conclude the day’s activities, awards were handed to the participating schools by member of the Wates family, Laurie Wates and John Carlin, Regional Managing Director of Wates Construction. Categories included:

  • Most Self-Motivated (Whittington Green)
  • Most Persevering (West Park)
  • Best Communicators (Bolsover)
  • Most Professional (St Martins)
  • Best Overall Team (Tibshelf)

John Carlin, Regional Managing Director, Wates Construction Midlands, said:

“From essential maths skills and building design to teamwork and collaboration, the students were encouraged to learn and demonstrate a wide range of skills during the event. We were very impressed by their enthusiasm to tackle the challenges presented to them, as well as the flair and creativity that was on display.

Events like these are essential to enable our students, educators and industry of the future, to work collectively to inspire the next generation. If their successes at this event are anything to go by, I sincerely hope to see many of these students shaping the landscape of Derby in the not too distant future.”

Meg Hankinson Area Advisor for CITB said:

“This was an excellent opportunity for young people at a key stage in their education to see for themselves the vast range of opportunities
in the Construction Sector. One of CITB’s priorities is to ATTRACT people to join construction through our careers promotion.

CITB are keen to develop these events where we can with the support from our local employers. Our intention is that by 2025, we will have seen a 63% increase in the number of apprentices joining construction.”

Martin Broadhurst, D2 SEB Chair, said:

“Derby and Derbyshire Skills and Employment Board are delighted to have been involved in such a fantastic event. It’s so important for us to encourage our young people to consider career and employment in our four sectors including Engineering, Construction, Health & Social Care and Work Readiness and the iConstruction event is a great way to engage and develop their talents.

We’d like to thank Wates Construction for leading the day and also CITB, Kier, Woodhead Group, and By Design Group for their involvement.”

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