Building magazine and charity join forces to encourage school pupils to try out construction roles

Berkeley Homes is among the big name firms to have signed up to Building’s campaign to attract school pupils into construction careers.

The magazine is partnering with the Construction Youth Trust on Experience Construction, an initiative to encourage employers to work with the charity to offer life-changing work experience.

Karl Whiteman, executive director at Berkeley Group, said: “Experience Construction is a great initiative to help our industry showcase what we do and Berkeley are delighted to be part of it.

“Through Our Vision, the strategy for the business, we have committed that by May 2018 at least 1,500 people in our direct and indirect workforce will be in apprenticeships or vocational training.”

Surveys this year have highlighted a chronic, worsening skills shortage in construction and an urgent need to attract new talent. The Construction Skills Network Forecast at the start of this year said the sector would need to recruit 230,000 more workers by 2020.

Others to have pledged their support include architect Child Graddon Lewis, whose director James Felstead said: “It’s fantastic to see a new campaign that will help publicise the wide range of opportunities that exist in the property and construction industry.

“We are particularly keen to support efforts that will promote diversity and social mobility.”

Recent research by consultant Aecom found too few students were taking science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects at A-level and GCSE.

Its analysis found a 0.6% annual rise in students taking STEM A-levels in the past four years and a 1.5% rise among GCSE pupils.

Research by consultant John Rowan - a launch partner of Experience Construction - published this month in Building found that schools do not provide pupils with adequate information about construction careers.

The Construction Youth Trust said: “The reaction from the industry to the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive.”

>> Sign up to support #ExperienceConstruction

The 13 that have signed up

Berkeley Homes
John Rowan and Partners
Galliard Homes
Pick Everard
Child Graddon Lewis
P+HS Architects
Ellis Building Contractors
Francis Construction
Warwickshire County Council
Liz Male Consulting