Next generation attend summer camp hosted by Wates and Let Me Play

The Wates Group partnered with education organisation Let Me Play to host the first Wates Summer Camp, designed to encourage and inspire young people to consider a career in the built environment.

The six-day Build Yourself summer camp was held at Loughborough University, and was created to equip the attendees with the skills needed to thrive in the construction industry through a stimulating, fun and nurturing environment.

The residential camp, fully funded by the Wates’ Family Enterprise Trust’s charitable programme, Wates Giving, was attended by 17 students aged 16-18. Some of the attendees were current Think Build students completing work experience in the industry, with this camp designed to support their entrance into construction.


The week’s events were planned by sports, education and outreach organisation Let Me Play under the guidance of Wates’ Early Careers team. Activities were designed to encourage young people to become work-ready through team building exercises, career workshops and tasks designed to aid their personal development. The activities contributed towards the attendees’ NCFE Level 1 Award in Employability Skills.

Wates’ Early Careers team, which manages employment programmes for apprentices, graduates and undergraduates, also gave the students an overview of the application process and how the Wates Group support ambitious individuals by helping them develop the knowledge, skills and experience needed to progress their career in the industry.

Current Wates trainees offered first hand accounts of their experiences in the construction industry to date whilst senior Wates employees John Carlin, Business Unit Director for the Midlands and Rachel Woolliscroft, Sustainability Director, provided insights into the company’s wider culture and the positive impact the construction industry has on society.

The Wates Summer Camp’s final activity involved the attendees splitting in to four groups to design a leisure centre, theatre, student accommodation or school. As well as sketching the buildings and producing models, the groups considered potential sustainability features for the building and how their design would impact on the local community.

Spending time with the exceptional students at the Build Yourself summer camp has given me immense confidence that the future of our industry is in safe hands. I hope all of our attendees have discovered the many exciting careers construction can offer, and what they need to do to make their ambitions a reality.

I’d like to wish everyone the best of luck in their next step, be it starting an apprenticeship or enrolling in university, and I look forward to seeing them on construction sites and at industry events in the years to come.”

John Carlin, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction Midlands

It has been a privilege to partner with Wates on the inspiring Build Yourself summer camp. The personal growth that took place amongst the participants in that short period of time was breathtaking. The young people who took part were from different parts of the country and had diverse backgrounds, but by the end of the programme they had bonded and through teamwork and mutual support had helped bolster each other’s confidence and self-belief.

I am sure with the support of companies such as Wates our attendees will go on to develop enjoyable and rewarding careers in the construction industry.”

Amy Lalla, Director at Let Me Play