Lancashire-based building company Construction Partnership UK (CPUK) Group’s specialist Civils & Remediation division is spearheading a drive to get more young people interested in a career in the industry.
It has played a major role in developing a special event hosted by The Manchester College that will be attended by more than 200 14 and 15-year-olds from 11 schools over two days this week.
The construction and civil engineering sectors face a worrying skills shortage and the open days are part of the growing effort to raise awareness of the opportunities that exist for young people.
West Lancashire headquartered CPUK has worked in partnership with Novus, machine simulation expert Tenstar and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to develop the event at The Manchester College’s Openshaw campus on June 26 and 27.
The students will get hands on with Tenstar’s plant simulators and virtual reality headsets. This immersive learning experience will give them a good understanding of how plant equipment is used on site.
They will also experience what happens on a construction site as diggers, dumpers, traffic management and surveying equipment will be brought to the college by CPUK and a traffic management set up is being provided by Tarmac.
A number of other construction companies, including Balfour Beatty, Lendlease and AECOM will be on hand to explain the broad range of careers open to young people who are interested in civil engineering.
The students will also be able to speak to current apprentices about their experiences of the world of work. Participating schools also have the chance to win a construction workshop visit or visit to a site in the autumn term.
Jack Rowley, who heads CPUK Civils & Remediation, said: “It is hugely important for the industry to attract young people and to promote the range of opportunities available to them. That is the thinking behind this initiative.
“Recent research in Greater Manchester has highlighted a potential worrying shortfall in the number of civil engineers, civil engineering operatives and plant operatives, describing it as as a key challenge facing construction companies and developers in the region.
“We have to meet that challenge and it means reaching out to young people from a variety of backgrounds to ensure we are recruiting from as wide a talent pool as possible. We have work to do to open up the sector to women in particular.”
Wendy Osborn, Partnership Manager in the North West for CITB, said: “Construction and infrastructure projects are playing a major role in economic growth in Greater Manchester.
“Construction offers some amazing and well-paid career options for young people and adults considering retraining. It’s essential that construction companies and education providers work together to promote these opportunities and inspire young people.
“We are very proud to support the collaboration between these companies, The Manchester College and Tenstar.”