Capitalising on construction

Employers from the construction industry and students from schools in the Olympic boroughs celebrated the completion of the third successful year of the Capital Xperience programme on Thursday 4 November at an awards ceremony at Carpenters Hall, London.  The Capital Xperience programme enables students from schools and colleges in the five Olympic boroughs, to gain valuable paid work experience within various professions in the construction industry during a four week summer placement.  Students who took part were recognised with a certificate supported by the people they worked alongside during their summer placement.

Capital Xperience has been designed to provide students with a taste of the construction sector from a variety of seminars, information sessions and site visits. Students who progressed onto a four-week paid summer placement, were required to demonstrate a high level of responsibility, decision making and management skills. This year more than 100 students applied to take part in the programme and 49 students were selected for a four-week paid summer placement.  During the 2 week pre-placement training 65 students were also given the great opportunity to tour the site of the German Gymnasium in The King’s Cross redevelopment area giving students the opportunity to meet staff on-site.

Amongst those who attended were young people who had participated in previous years, some of whom had gone on to full time employment with the company they had worked for during their work experience.

John Peters, who managed the project for the Construction Youth Trust said "We need the brightest graduates in our industry and we need to show these young people what exciting careers our industry can offer before they make their career choices.   They are our future and we should invest in them now.”

Christine Townley, Director of the Construction Youth Trust added “In these times of economic uncertainty we have been delighted by the commitment of construction employers to this programme. Capital Xperience allows talented Sixth-formers from East London to get a very valuable work placement in the sector, the Trust is proud to have been a partner in this project for the past 3 years and we hope we can build on this good work in the years to come.”

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Notes to editors:

1. The Construction Youth Trust achieves its goals by undertaking a number of programmes ranging from individual bursaries to construction skills courses, and from work placement schemes to guidance sessions. By helping individuals to gain training & employment the Trust's work effectively tackles social exclusion and related disadvantage. 

2. Capital Xperience is a 3-year programme designed to encourage young people who are in full time post-16 education within the five “Olympic Host Boroughs” to pursue a career in the professional and technical support areas of construction. It is aimed not just at those who are already considering built environment-related courses post-18 but it also seeks to inspire other talented youngsters who may not yet appreciate what our exciting industry has to offer them as a career.  The programme achieves its aim through construction careers awareness raising in schools and by giving selected students experience of the construction industry through the provision of, 4 week, paid summer holiday work placements. All the students are 16+ and almost all will be midway through their ‘sixth-form’ and studying for ‘A’ Levels.  To prepare them for work in the construction environment the students are given 2 weeks of intensive ‘pre-placement’ training, which includes taking the ConstructionSkills Health & Safety Test.  Following this training, participating Employers select those students they wish to engage through a competitive interview process ensuring that only those who will really benefit will take part. 

3. The administration of the scheme is funded by the London Development Agency.