Budding Brunels initiative to inspire sixth form students about construction

The low awareness and poor perception of construction and the wider built environment sector among young people, and those who advise them, is a challenge within the construction industry.

This can be exacerbated if teachers and careers advisers have limited knowledge of the range of potential roles in the built environment sector, and more generally of technical and vocational routes such as apprenticeships.

The Budding Brunels programme engages directly with schools and uses real-life construction projects and industry role models to engage and inspire young people.

This is a great example of how we as industry professionals can provide an insight into the variety of rewarding careers available in construction. It is vital to provide real-life experience and training to inspire young people to take the next step in gaining the relevant training and qualifications.

Mark Robinson, SCAPE Chief Executive

Together with Construction Youth Trust, we share a passion to educate young people about the diverse range of rewarding and interesting roles available in the industry. With future access to EU workers uncertain and with many of the UK’s own workforce approaching retirement age, ensuring we have a sufficient pipeline of talented young people from a diverse range of backgrounds has never been more important.

Challenging perceptions of the construction industry and addressing the imbalance in the workforce are responsibilities that we need to share, and courses like this are crucial to provide the construction industry with the necessary skills to meet demand.

Mark Robinson, SCAPE Chief Executive

To build this strong workforce for the future, young people need to be encouraged to take the next steps and given access to the right skills and training needed to succeed. In particular, young people facing significant barriers to the workplace or those who have traditionally been under-represented in the industry, such as women and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnicity (BAME) young people need to be reassured that construction offers opportunities for everyone.

Launching in Autumn 2017, we will be working closely with Construction Youth Trust, our delivery partners and their supply chains to deliver a bespoke curriculum offered across six locations in the UK. The project will engage up to 145 students and will facilitate a minimum of 30 work experience placements. The students will also receive ongoing one-to-one support, introducing them to real apprenticeship, traineeship and employment opportunities in the industry.

The pilot project is hoped to act as a springboard to sustainable school engagement programmes in each area based on long-term strategic partnerships between schools and other companies within the built environment sector.

The launch of the initiative follows our successful collaboration with Construction Youth Trust on their #notjustforboys campaign, in which the Trust are leading the way in promoting women in construction, equality and diversity.

We believe a coherent long-term engagement campaign, joining the dots between schools, industry, clients and other stakeholders, will be key to changing the image of the industry, dispelling myths around built environment careers, giving young people a clear line of sight into the industry and ultimately attracting the very best talent.

Carol Lynch, CEO at Construction Youth Trust