Mace gives students from St Augustine’s an insight into construction careers!

For our second week-long collaboration with Mace we co-delivered a series of sessions that gave students a holistic insight into the wide range of roles available in the construction and built environment sector.

The week kicked off with students stepping into the virtual realm, experiencing first-hand how VR technology is used to plan, design and materialise construction projects. The students had a whale of a time trying out a VR headset and learning about the growing role of technology within the industry.

In the afternoon, in order to understand how construction projects can be more environmentally friendly, students took part in the Trust’s interactive Sustainable Design Challenge session. Working in groups, they designed elements of a build project, taking into account the cost, time taken to build, and carbon impact of each option.

Students were particularly inspired by Mace’s electrical activity, which saw them discover the role of an electrician by exploring circuits, trying to switch on fans and lightbulbs. There were lots of smiles in the room as the students achieved their task and saw their hard work pay off!

We also went on two live site visits during the week, giving students the chance to see a build come to life. On Mace’s spectacular St James’s Street and Hanover Square sites, students witnessed how the career roles they had been learning about come together to make a project happen.

“I loved visiting the construction site, because it gave me a good insight into life working in construction.”

The week culminated in the students putting their new-found knowledge to the test as they presented their own project design plans to an industry panel of Mace professionals. In teams, the students took on individual industry roles including a quantity surveyor and project manager, as they outlined how they would spend a £30 million budget to achieve a given brief. The competitive element of this session is a great motivator, and the students were really enthused by the chance to receive personalised feedback from construction professionals!

The week also provided an opportunity for students to develop their employability skills, with a series of workshops that got them thinking about how they present themselves in an interview. Students took part in a body language session to help raise their confidence and self-awareness, and had to think creatively during a task in which they were asked to pitch a potato!

“The best part of the programme was learning about the different construction jobs and finding out about how to be successful in an interview. It helped me be more confident.”

Being able to immerse young people in the workplace gives them a tangible understanding of the realities of construction careers. Thank you to the Mace volunteers who participated and acted as relatable role models to give students a real-life insight into the range of job roles available in the industry! The students really enjoyed the action-packed week, and came away with new knowledge and inspiration about construction as a dynamic and appealing sector to work in.