The 21st Century Skills programme involved five local schools in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire
Bouygues UK and Carmarthenshire County Council have joined forces to deliver a Dragons’ Den-style event as part of a 12-week work experience scheme.
The 21st Century Skills programme involved five local schools in Llanelli and was aimed at empowering learners to discover careers in construction and design.
When the scheme was launched in May 2023, each school was given a brief to design a collaborative workspace that aligned with the ethos of Pentre Awel – a medical research and healthcare facility which Bouygues is delivering on behalf of Carmarthenshire County Council.
During the programme, students were mentored by Bouygues staff and had visits to site several times to develop their design briefs and help them prepare for their final pitch to a panel of judges.
The panel included professionals from Bouygues UK, Carmarthenshire County Council and Gleeds Project Consultancy.
St John Lloyd RC Comprehensive and Ysgol Y Strade were crowned joint winners, while primary school Ysgol Pen Rhos won the innovation/sustainability award for their biophilic design and carbon capture ideas.
Nina Williams, Bouygues UK’s social value adviser for Pentre Awel, said: “At the beginning of the experience [the students] were all very nervous to ask questions, the mentors being unfamiliar to them, but by the time they were preparing for their final pitch, they were working round the table, firing off ideas, listening to the mentor’s advice and having conversations about how to change and improve their designs.
“The project has helped the schools to build future relationships with industries, utilising the knowledge and experience of professionals to enhance and develop their knowledge base, which can be applied in their future curriculum design.”
The 21st Century Skills initiative is part of a broader programme of community benefits to be delivered during the development of Zone 1 of Pentre Awel. This includes targeted recruitment and training, community engagement, STEM activities and supply chain engagement.