Teenager Rachel Babic is taking part in housebuilder Lovell's company mentoring scheme. Joanne Lambert asked her what she thought of the programme
hat's the most interesting project you've worked on so far?
I liked working out the profit margins for a housing project. We had to look at the income and outcome and work it all out. We've seen a lot of presentations about different construction projects and how the building works were done, which were all very interesting. But I enjoy maths, so I like working with numbers.

Has your interest in construction increased since you started?
Yes. I used to think the industry was all about big men and bricks but it's actually very interesting. Having now seen people working in the industry, I can see that it's full of very skilled jobs.

What do you enjoy most about the mentoring scheme?
It's really nice to meet people from other schools – and it's been good to work with adults. Also, we've learned some useful stuff about how businesses work.

How did you get involved in the scheme?
Lovell got in touch with our school and our head of year held an assembly on the scheme. About 70 of us said we were interested – so 10 names were picked from a hat. We then had to go for an interview and four of us were chosen to go on the scheme.

What was the selection process like?
We had to do lots of group activities and solve problems. We did things like work out what materials we would need to escape from a desert island. Lovell were looking for people who were good at lateral thinking and taking on leadership roles – all that sort of stuff.

Are there many girls involved?
There are more girls on the scheme than boys – but when we went out on to our first construction site we saw that there was only one woman on site. I think it is important to get more girls interested in construction – some might think you've got to be really strong. But there's a lot to do in the industry that's nothing to do with physical strength.

Would you recommend the scheme to other people your age?
Yes, it's very good. It has really helped me understand better what we do at school – how our lessons relate to the outside world.

And it's helped me understand better what's going on in the news. I also have more opinions now on how industries are developing in London.

About the scheme …

Lovell’s mentoring scheme is aimed at 14-to-18-year-olds. The idea is that each student completes six themed projects over a two-year period. Each project looks at different aspect of the construction industry – for example, how to project manage a site. The student is given a contact list of Lovell staff, who can help them complete the task. By the end of this year, the company aims to have involved 144 students from 36 schools across the UK.