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Generation Construction inspires industry hopefuls across Hertfordshire’s colleges

07 Mar 23
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Hertfordshire Careers Hub
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To celebrate National Careers Week, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s Careers Hub partnered with leading construction employers BAM, Morgan Sindall and Willmott Dixon, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), and SME AVV Solutions, to deliver four ‘Generation Construction’ workshops across the county’s further education colleges.

Delivered simultaneously at West Herts College, Oaklands College, North Hertfordshire College and Hertford Regional College, the workshops gave students with ambitions of working in the industry the chance to hear directly from, and interact with, prospective employers - both major contractors and local supply chain SMEs.

Alongside their tutors, over 300 students across the four colleges learned about the skills needs of the industry and the career opportunities available locally, post-education.

Phil Line, Head of Student Services at Hertford Regional College (HRC), said: “We are very proud of all of our construction courses but providing our students with the opportunity to hear directly from employers is invaluable to help build their understanding of what their course and qualifications will mean for them going forward.”

Alfie Smith, a Foreman at Winchmore Brickwork and a former apprentice, was part of the presenting team at Hertford Regional College. He said: “I achieved my Level 2 and Level 3 bricklaying apprenticeship here and I’m keen to help inform current students, who like me a few years ago, were trying to work out what would happen next. You get out what you put in in this industry and that starts at college.”

22-year-old Anthony Galvin, who is in the first year of his Level 1 Bricklaying course at HRC, was inspired by the session and proactive in seeking more information. Anthony said: “I was really pleased to find out that this session was taking place. I want to get onto an apprenticeship as my next step and found the workshop very informative. Talking directly to employers like AVV has helped remind me why it is so important to complete my studies and what I should be thinking about doing.”

Coinciding with International Women’s Day celebrations, Generation Construction was spearheaded by four women in construction: June Wilkinson, Social Value Manager at BAM Construct UK; Norma Odain-Hines, Social Value Manager at Morgan Sindall; Natalie Sidey, Social Value Manager at Willmott Dixon; and Julie Tincknell, Finance Manager at AVV Solutions – all passionate about sharing their experiences with young people and busting myths around the construction industry.

Norma, who led the workshop at North Hertfordshire College, said: “We recognise, not just as an individual employer but on behalf of the construction sector, the importance of engaging with young people and highlighting the career routes available to them, especially those already studying a related discipline. The four colleges have really bought into this idea and made sure that relevant students were able to attend.”

Generation Construction organiser Gareth Dace, Careers Hub Strategic Lead at Hertfordshire LEP, said: “We are extremely grateful to have such a proactive group of construction employers working within us who came up with this concept.

"It’s fantastic to have been part of their plans and to see the level of coordination and partnership between them to come together on behalf of their industry and inspire young people already studying construction programmes about the wide variety of opportunities that exist for them. We hope that this creates a blueprint for future events across our other priority sectors."

Hertfordshire Careers Hub, set up by Hertfordshire LEP in 2019, is one of 40 Careers Hubs across the UK funded by The Careers & Enterprise Company. It brings together schools, colleges, employers and providers to drive forward careers education that supports the ambitions of Hertfordshire’s business community and its young people. Currently Hertfordshire LEP and its team of Enterprise Coordinators works with 110 of the 112 eligible schools within the county.

Learn more about the Careers Hub

Visit Hertfordshire LEP's skills portal HOP (Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal), to learn more about the construction sector, major local employers, in-demand job roles, local training and apprenticeship opportunities, and more. HOP also has information on 11 other key growth industries in Hertfordshire.

Visit HOP

We are extremely grateful to have such a proactive group of construction employers working within us who came up with this concept. We hope that this creates a blueprint for future events across our other priority sectors.
Gareth Dace Gareth DaceCareers Hub Lead, Hertfordshire LEP
We are extremely grateful to have such a proactive group of construction employers working within us who came up with this concept. We hope that this creates a blueprint for future events across our other priority sectors.
Gareth Dace Gareth DaceCareers Hub Lead, Hertfordshire LEP