Wandsworth students first to complete 11 week work experience pilot
Students from St John Bosco College in the London Borough of Wandsworth have today completed an 11-week work experience programme piloted by Wates.
The 39 students celebrated their achievement alongside teachers and local councillors Jonathan Cook (Cabinet Member for Housing) and Rhodri Morgan (Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Skills and Employment).
The Beacon Programme is a first of its kind work experience programme that is taking a novel approach to give Year 12 students the opportunity to explore the careers they might wish to pursue, as well as build their confidence, motivation and professionalism.
Operating at a much larger scale than work experience schemes typically offered within the construction industry and broader businesses, the programme covers 11 career routes to enable students to learn about a full spectrum of business functions, from project management to marketing and health and safety.
With a fully integrated timetable, the 16-17 year-old students participate in one five-hour session per week, delivered via a hybrid model which combines virtual sessions with travelling to Wates offices wherever possible, giving them a real insight into working life.
The company hopes that the programme will challenge preconceptions about the jobs available in construction and introduce students, teachers and their families to the diverse career opportunities within the industry, which they may not have otherwise considered. It aims to bridge the gap between sixth form and the experience needed to enter the world of work, by providing them with transferable skills that will set them up for future success.
One student commented that the Beacon Programme “has allowed me to open my mind to new opportunities”, with another saying “I quickly picked up how I could incorporate what I have learnt to help me when applying for apprenticeships in the future.”
I am delighted that we’ve been able to provide this unique opportunity for our students through our partnerships with Wates.
The practical hands-on experience that students are gaining is invaluable and is something that few students of their age get the chance to experience.
Working together with Wates we are helping to equip the young men and women of today with the skills that they will need for the future.”
Headteacher at St John Bosco College, Wandsworth
It has been brilliant to work with the students at St John Bosco College over the last 11 weeks, watching their skills and confidence develop.
At Wates, we are committed to taking a local approach to projects, investing in training, education and skills, so that we can bring about real change and deliver lasting legacies in the communities where we operate.
This programme is a perfect example of that ambition in action, and we cannot wait to meet the next cohort.”
Community Investment Manager at Wates Residential and one of the creators of the pilot programme
This is an incredibly interesting and unique scheme and we are proud that Wates have piloted this with one of our local schools. It is important that students are given engaging work experience opportunities but the value of this programme lies in the range of areas that it covers, allowing the students to see the diverse functions of a business.”
Councillor Rhodri Morgan
Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Skills and Employment at Wandsworth Council
A second cohort of students will start the programme on 21 February, completing on 19 May, with a graduation ceremony for all 81 students that have taken part. Any students that have excelled throughout the programme will be given the opportunity for further mentoring and support.
The scheme is part of a wider programme of social value activity being delivered by Wates in the Borough, as it works with the Council on its Housing For All programme which commits to 1,000 new homes by 2027. It recently celebrated the delivery of 71 new homes at Sphere Walk on Shuttleworth Road, Battersea a project through which it has delivered over £1.8 million in social value, including more than £750,000 investment into local skills and employment.