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Build it! Construction Careers Week

The Local London Careers Hub’s summer ‘Build it! Construction Careers Week’ held online between 27 June and 11 July 2022 highlighted to young people in East London the huge range of roles and career options open to them in the construction industry.

Building on the success of the winter Construction Careers Week event held in December, over 150 pupils from schools and colleges in Local London boroughs participated in eleven interactive sessions.

The online sessions were led by representatives from top UK companies, including:

  • Wilmott Dixon, a leading independent construction and property services company,
  • Breyer Group, specialists in roofing, construction, responsive repairs, and
  • Lower Thames Crossing, proposed major road infrastructure project led by National Highways.

During the sessions year 7-13 students learned about pathways into the sector, the range of roles available, job research techniques, apprenticeship opportunities and had an opportunity to ask questions to people currently working in the industry as apprentices, managers and Directors.

Special attention was made by all presenters to ensure that sessions were accessible, inclusive, engaging and SEND-friendly to ensure all students could understand the career options open to them.

De-constructing construction myths

Presenters from the industry dispelled some of the most common preconceptions about the sector, namely:

  • It’s not just for some people – The industry is open and actively encouraging diversity in its workforce. Anyone considering working in the construction industry should pursue their dreams.
  • Bricklaying is not the only role – Students were amazed at the types of roles available in this multi-discipline industry and the amount of technology that is involved in a sector that they believed primarily involved physical roles.
  • Construction does not just happen on site – People work from a range of places
  • It’s not an unskilled sector – Speakers highlighted the need for a range of skills for different roles, including soft skills, and made clear that professionalism is expected in all roles.

Lifting the roof on roofing

Lee Furbank, Operations Manager, and Anna Pearson, Resident Liaison & Social Value Manager, from Breyer Group led a virtual insight session on the company and the roofing industry for the Careers Hub East Build it! Summer Construction Series.

Students learnt how to apply for positions as apprentices, heard how the industry has changed across Lee’s career and also discovered where the roofing industry will head in the next five to ten years. Anna and Lee also guided students through roof types, health and safety considerations, and skills that are suited to the roles,  and shared information about their Apprenticeship Academy and how Breyer Group support the local community through their work.

Lee Furbank, Breyer Group said: “[It was an] Absolute pleasure [to be involved]. We need to do whatever we can to encourage the next generation into the industry.”

These events supported:

  • Schools to achieve their national careers benchmarks in relation to employer engagement and interaction.
  • Students to increase their knowledge of routes into the sector and understand the local opportunities available to them. To inspire, break down barriers and give students a chance to debate industry ideas with employers and apprentices from within the sector.
  • A curated programme of employer interactions that reach special and mainstream needs to support careers provision for students with special educational needs and disabilities.

If you, a colleague or a friend are interested in volunteering to support a local school or college to enhance their careers programme and give young people the opportunity to engage with local businesses, please contact careershub.east@redbridge.gov.uk to find out more about the volunteering opportunities available across East and South East London including Enfield, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley.

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