The project took place in Oxford at the £65m New Bodleian Library project at University of Oxford.
The Trust’s Budding Brunels programme is a schools engagement programme aimed at students from diverse backgrounds or schools with a high percentage of students on free school meals. It aims to inform and inspire them about professional opportunities available in the construction industry. The programme brings together students with industry ambassadors to help them learn more about the built environment and the array of career paths and opportunities available to them.
The OCN accredited course was attended by 12 A-Level students from Wheatley Park School, Matthew Arnold School and Oxford Spires Academy. The University of Oxford hosted the first day, and students had the chance to interact with a variety of industry professionals currently working on the Oxford site, including a construction manager, a quantity surveyor, an architect and an undergraduate currently on industry placement. The students also took part in group activities and games around the built environment and were introduced to the University’s Engineering Department by Chair of Faculty, Professor Rene Bañares-Alcántara.
The second day saw the students on a site tour of the Grade II listed New Bodleian Library site, giving them the opportunity to see how a live construction site works, the range of roles involved and how health and safety is managed.
Mace’s Construction Manager Nick Topham who coordinated the Budding Brunels programme for New Bodleian Library said:
“It’s a great opportunity for our team to host Budding Brunels and help to inspire and support the next generation of construction professionals. It’s the first time some of these students have ever been on a construction site and they really enjoyed seeing how it works and how we are safeguarding the collections and modernising the research facilities.”
Day three was hosted in Oxford Brookes University’s new John Henry Brookes Building and the students had a chance to tour the facilities and hear more about the courses on offer from the Department of Real Estate and Construction. The students then spent the day developing their employability skills, culminating in interviews with Mace’s Workplace Coordinators, Max Petrucci and Nick Topham, to select five students for post-project work placements with Mace.
One student, Lucas Argyle, commented:
“This course has shown me how complex constructing a building actually is, and the tour of the New Bodleian Library gave me a realistic insight into construction. The programme was fun and insightful, and I can see myself working as a quantity surveyor in the future.”
Construction Youth Trust will be working in partnership with Mace this autumn on two further Budding Brunels programmes at the BskyB Building 2 Campus in Osterley and at Heathrow Airport.