Young people interested in a career in the construction industry were invited to join Budding Brunels recently for a three-day course hosted by Wates Construction and Construction Youth Trust.
The course was funded by the Shaping Southwarks Future partnership (formed of British Land Plc, United St Saviours Charity, Southwark Construction Skills Centre and Construction Youth Trust).
The course, which targeted a group of 28 16-18 year olds at risk of not being in education, employment or training, was planned and delivered by Wates experts including surveyors, engineers, designers, project directors and bid managers.
The aim of the partnership is to ensure the young people of Southwark benefit directly from the job, skills and career development opportunities created by the regeneration of their local area, now and in the future, within the construction and built environment industry.
Norma Odain-Hines, Community Investment Adviser for Wates Construction, said:
Were passionate about helping young people to consider construction as a future career.
This has been a great opportunity for students to develop their confidence and learn. They got involved in a mock project, as well as being wowed by our expert who demonstrated how we use new technology such as Building Information Modelling (BIM).
Mark Craig, Wates Operations Director, welcomed the students on Day 1:
Construction is not what it used to be. We often ask ourselves, how do we change the perceptions about construction to truly show all that we do? And we realised its through events like these. We lit up a passion in the younger generation.
Wendy Heller is a Senior Programme Manager at Construction Youth Trust and has been working with London Borough of Southwark since September last year. Wendy says:
I cannot thank Norma and the Wates volunteers enough for providing the pupils with excellent project challenges, and welcoming us to their site at Borough Yards.
Wates has a strong track record in supporting the next generation in their career choices. On this programme we have offered six students week-long work placements, shadowing Wates teams across various sites. Another five students have been offered a place at the Loughborough University summer camp run by Wates later this year.