Celebrating the ‘Budding Brunels Rail’ Project

This week Construction Youth Trust invited students, teachers and industry partners to the London Transport Museum to celebrate our successful ‘Budding Brunels Rail’ Project

The programme was developed as a bespoke Budding Brunels project with a specific focus on the rail industry - to inform and inspire young people aged 16-19 to consider professional careers within the construction and rail industries and to support the Trust’s focus on building a more diverse workforce.

Each 3-day workshop was supported by construction professionals who helped inform students through practical activities and visits to live construction sites. The workshops also included a range of activities such as bridge building and stakeholder engagement in which the students got the opportunity to experience different roles within the railway industry. Giving the students the opportunity to work directly with volunteers from the industry provided them with valuable role models, eye-opening experiences and invaluable information, better equipping them to make more informed decisions about their future careers.

The celebration event marked the end of the four year project and brought together the students, teachers and volunteers who were involved in the Budding Brunels Rail project. In addition to hearing from senior members from the project partners, the guests also got involved in activities delivered on the Budding Brunels Rail course alongside the alumni students.

Towards the end of the evening, guests heard from students via a Q&A panel where the students reflected on their experiences and what they gained from their involvement in the project.

Floriane, one of the students commented:

“I’ve really enjoyed the evening – it was great to see each other and the volunteers again, as well as having the opportunity to network and make new contacts. It’s amazing to be in a room full of people who love construction and engineering as much as we do! The Budding Brunels Rail course was so inspiring and really helped me get where I am today, so I want to thank everyone involved.”

244 students from 34 London Schools have participated on the 14 courses. It is well recognised that a skills and diversity gap exists across the industry, so this was a key focus of the courses – 25% of the students were female, and 69% were from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnicity background.

To help evaluate and measure the outcomes of the project, The Trust worked with London South Bank University to analyse the social value of the Budding Brunel’s Rail programme and for every £1 invested by the funder, the average value to society was £3.75.

The students were also asked to evaluate a number of skills and areas of knowledge both before and after the workshops:

The students registered an increase in various areas including –

  • Perceived knowledge of construction
  • Improved employability skills
  • Confidence in team working
  • Confidence in presentations
  • Confidence in interviews
  • A wider appreciation of the variety of careers within the build environment.

Carol Lynch commented:

“It has been fantastic to see the success of the rail and construction industry coming together with local communities to inspire the next generation of young people who will build Britain’s future. It is clear that the students have enjoyed the experience and now have a greater understanding the wonderful career opportunities available to them in today’s built environment sector. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved, and we look forward to continuing this important work with other industry partners.”

Construction Youth Trust continue to work with the construction industry throughout the UK to further build upon the industry-led approach to filling future skills shortages through awareness raising workshops.

If you would like to hear more about how we could work together, please get in touch.