To help inspire the next generation, EDGE partner Urban&Civic organised a work experience pilot in July 2018 to give local secondary school students an insight into the construction industry and the wide variety of skills required to develop a new community like Alconbury Weald.
Victoria Denny-Morley, Skills Lead at Urban&Civic, explained: “We are committed to working with schools and local partners to help address skills shortages in the construction industry and, through our work experience pilot, we were able to dispel myths about the construction industry, broaden horizons and raise aspirations about the types of careers that are available locally and how to access them.”
The week-long programme brought together ten Year 10 and Year 12 students from St Ivo, St Peter’s and Hinchingbrooke for a range of theoretical and practical experience from Urban& Civic and its contractors, consultants and housebuilders to help show them the many job options and careers paths available in the area.
Following a talk on health and safety in the construction industry and an introduction to Urban&Civic’s Master Developer role at Alconbury Weald, the students found out more about civil engineering at the Breheny compound. They gained hands-on experience of plant machinery and were shown the importance of maths whilst conducting practical engineering tasks such as measuring surface areas.
Over the course of the week, the students experienced a range of sessions covering structural engineering, planning, design, geo-environmental engineering, archaeological and historical considerations as well as the design, installation and maintenance of different landscapes.
Students were also given advice about careers in construction and development and the various routes into industry, including apprenticeship schemes being run by contractors at Alconbury Weald and in the wider area.
As a result of the work experience, one of the students – Georgia Dutton from St Peter’s School – was offered a place on the Peter Brett Associates (PBA) summer work experience scheme in recognition of her interest and enthusiasm for a career in the industry.