Careers in Construction: Inspiring the Next Generation

Rachel Callow
Apprenticeship Week celebrates the positive impact that apprentices can have on individuals and businesses, with a big focus on expanding skill sets for both students and employers.

Last week saw the celebration of National Apprenticeship Week and we have been attending careers fairs across the UK. Staff have been engaging with the next generation of students and providing them with an insight into what the company does, how it operates and what a career in the construction industry could mean for them.

As part of the celebration we have undertaken a number of shows and activities which have taken place up and down the country to show our commitment to the national apprenticeship agenda and young people moving into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

"I really enjoyed the whole day. Before the open day, I didn’t really know if the construction sector was for me, but after the day it is something that I am very keen on pursuing…"

Ben Watkins, Garforth School Student 

Recently across the UK we have been hosting construction taster days, where students aged 16-18 attend a full day session and are given an introduction to Faithful+Gould, and the wider construction industry. Several interactive workshops were delivered throughout the day based around the core services we provide. The workshops included an overview of each service and a practical task for the students, incorporating skills that would be required for each of the technical disciplines covered.

Over the course of the day the students completed tasks, incorporating a number of skills sets used within each of the roles, including refurbishment and construction space planning, measurement and quantification of construction materials, construction programming (programme of works) and a final overall task combining all the skills used throughout the day ‘The Lego Challenge’, where the students were required to build a structure using only Lego bricks.

Faithful+Gould apprenticeship scheme

Many schools and academies are addressing the skills shortage by facilitating careers fairs specifically promoting STEM related careers. By attending these events we get the opportunity to present a combination of written material, one-to-one informative discussions and onscreen AutoCAD visualisations. By engaging with all students at all levels, we aim to showcase the benefits and exciting opportunities a career in the construction industry can bring and in particular the encouragement of increasing the appeal of STEM careers to women.

Leanne Owen, Faithul+Gould Quantity Surveyor and RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year commented: "Our continuous engagement with students at these events, coupled with our strong commitment sees multiple students coming through the avenue of training schemes and apprenticeships at Faithful+Gould each year. As part of the National Apprenticeships Week we have launched 86 new apprenticeship roles, which are currently advertised on our website. These are rich opportunities for young people starting out in their careers to work with engineering specialists from across our business."

The shift in moving towards increasing STEM training and apprenticeships for students is encouraging, and by supporting these events we can provide young people with a real understanding about the benefits of undertaking STEM subjects. According to figures recently published in The Telegraph ‘women only fill three in 20 STEM roles in the UK, and only two in 20 STEM managers are female’. The staff attending the STEM events and inspiring the young people are enthused to change these statistics for the future of the construction industry.