The Director of Wates Construction North East has returned to his roots in Spennymoor, County Durham to encourage more young people to follow in his footsteps and consider a career in construction.
Paul Dodsworth, a former student of Whitworth Park School and Sixth Form College, previously known as Spennymoor Comprehensive, headed back to school to talk to Year 11 pupils about their career aspirations and provide them with an insight into the construction industry.
The visit formed part of Wates’ growing presence in the North East, following the successful completion of Select Property Group’s Vita student development at Strawberry Place and Newcastle High School for Girls.
With an illustrious career spanning 35 years, County Durham-born Paul began working life as an apprentice bricklayer before moving onto a management training programme. From then Paul worked his way up from general foreman, to site manager and project manager to Construction Director before being appointed Business Unit Director, when he joined Wates in 2015.
Paul is now responsible for a £100m business and 102 members of staff delivering education, commercial and public sector projects across the North East and Yorkshire.
The career assembly at Whitworth Park School and Sixth Form College also saw presentations from Nick White, Wates Construction’s Project Manager at the new National Horizons Centre at Teesside University’s Darlington Campus and Natalie Harris, an Apprentice Commercial Management Trainee.
With the Year 11 students working towards their GCSEs in May and looking to move on to A-Levels or apprenticeships, Paul, Nick and Natalie provided the students with an overview of the range of roles available in construction and the various routes into the sector. Students were then offered the opportunity to ask Paul and his team questions, with topics varying from the benefits of apprenticeships to the number of women in construction.
Paul Dodsworth, Business Unit Director of Wates Construction North East and Yorkshire, commented:
“It was a real pleasure to return to my roots and share my experiences and expertise with these inspiring students. Year 11 is a pivotal time as it is the point at which you set foot on your chosen career path.
We work hard to ensure our presence in the region generates a tangible impact on communities and the local economy and this was a great opportunity to promote the benefits of the construction industry to the next generation workforce and discuss the skills programmes available to those interested in the sector.
This very school propelled me toward success and I have every confidence that the bright young people I met today are on their own journeys towards flourishing and enriching careers.”
Rana Coates, Careers Co-ordinator at Whitworth Park School and Sixth Form College, said:
“Assemblies like this are invaluable for the future careers of our students.
Paul, Nick and Natalie delivered an inspirational presentation, which proved highly beneficial to our Year 11 students.”