Almost 600 Leicestershire students took part in the programme to develop their skills and gain insight into the construction industry
Contractor Willmott Dixon has created an enrichment programme to showcase the construction industry to students.
Delivered across three days, the programme involved almost 600 pupils at Redmoor Academy in Hinckley, Leicestershire.
The free programme was created by Marie Wilkes, head of social value at Willmott Dixon and enterprise adviser to multiple Midlands schools, to form part of a robust careers strategy.
The initiative has helped to satisfy the Baker Clause requirements, which were updated this year as an amendment to the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 and stipulates that schools must inform Years 8 to 13 of the technical education and apprenticeship options available.
The event gave an overview of the construction industry as well as introductions to the Willmott Dixon team and their career pathways. Following a Q&A session, the students were split into groups of four and created 60 mini-construction companies, where they were tasked with different roles to plan, cost, and build a green village.
Wilkes said: “The team really pulled together to deliver this programme – with five members of our business, from quantity surveyors to environmental and sustainability managers, attending each day to give students a real insight into the construction industry.
“It was the first time we’ve provided anything on this scale, as we usually interact with groups of just 30 students. It was therefore fantastic to see pupils really getting into the sessions, engaging with the tasks and asking insightful questions around sustainability.”
Each student received an Industrial Cadets accreditation – the equivalent of a bronze Duke of Edinburgh certificate – due to the industry skills gained, such as teamwork, negotiation and presentation.
“We want to launch this service wider and pave the way for enrichment programmes to make a tangible difference across the county,” added Wilkes.
“Most organisations and training providers don’t have a specialist social value team, so these sessions require a lot of effort. Therefore, our free service should help bridge the skills gap and give back to the community.”