National contractor and housing developer Wates Residential, has launched a set of ‘Top Trumps’ style playing cards to help explain the wide variety of roles available in construction and to encourage more young people into the industry.
The cards were launched this week at Greatfields School, in Barking, close to where Wates is working with Be First to build over 500 homes across the Gascoigne Estate. All 700 pupils received a pack of the ‘Built Environment Trumps’ including categories like Development Manager, Acoustic Consultant and Demolition Operative.
The highest-ranking card in the pack is for a Chief Executive Officer, with Operations Director, Bid Manager and Architect scoring particularly highly.
Attending the launch were Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council; Deon Brown, Assistant Construction Manager from Be First and Adrian Fennessy, Operations Director at Wates Residential. Pupils were given an update on the regeneration taking place in the area as well as a presentation on ‘What is Construction and the Built Environment’, which covered topics like apprenticeships and the type of careers available.
Wates aims to reduce the skills shortage in the industry by providing young people with knowledge of different roles that are available within the built environment. The cards cover a variety of roles from site management to design and surveying, showing pupils that there are more than labour roles on offer.
Over the last two years Wates Residential, which is part of leading privately-owned construction, property services and development company, the Wates Group, has secured two places on the Be First Development Framework on the Gascoigne Estate. Phase One of the development, which is currently underway, will see 200 homes delivered and the second phase, which was awarded to the contractor in April of this year, will see a further 386 much-needed homes built.
Cllr Darren Rodwell said:
“Top Trumps is a top way to help build young people’s aspirations. This is what this borough is all about – supporting and encouraging aspiration!”
Adrian Fennessy, Operations Director for Wates Residential said:
“These cards are a fun and creative way to inspire and teach the next generation about what it is like to work in construction, which is essential if we are to reduce the skills shortage that the industry is facing.
“I am proud to support the young people of Barking, by not only building them great new homes, but also by inspiring their career choices.”
Richard Paul, Headteacher at Greatfields School, commented:
“We are excited to be working alongside Wates Residential in promoting the construction industry as a potential career path for our students. It’s important to debunk the common view of construction jobs and to make our students aware of the wide variety of career paths that exist within the industry. I am particularly pleased to see their commitment in promoting the industry to girls as the industry is currently woefully underrepresented by women.”
Ida, one of the pupils at the school, said:
“These cards are really inspiring and have given me so many ideas on what I can become in the future and all the different career choices I have. Today’s session at school with Wates Residential, Be First and the council leader was interesting, and I never knew how many different roles there are in the industry. I am excited for my future with all the opportunity in the borough.”