Bringing the construction industry closer.

We partnered with Mace to bring the construction and built environment industry into Chelsea Academy as part of their Year 10 Work Experience week.

As the construction and built environment’s own youth charity, we are uniquely placed to represent the sector as a whole to the next generation. By acting as the single voice of industry, we are able to strengthen our sectors message to young people, and deliver a  a cohesive representation of the incredible career opportunities afforded by industry.

Using our experience of working with schools, we are able to bridge the void between industry and upcoming talent, enabling industry professionals to engage and inspire the next generation. Our strong relationship with Chelsea Academy allowed us to coordinate the creation and delivery of the Mace led work experience programme. By reducing the noise coming into schools and providing a singular communication channel into schools we’re able to assist industry to engage with students in a strategic and effective manner.

The 5- day programme was designed to fully immerse the students in all aspects of industry. Day 1 introduced the sector as a whole to the students and explored the many ways in which technology is transforming our sector. From trying out VR glasses to explore design plans to understanding how new technology can help make projects more sustainable, the students were shown a side of industry completely unknown to them.  

Day 2 saw the programme take a community focus with students designing a project ensuring that they were being both sustainable and mindful of the community. The afternoon got pretty rowdy as the students role-played being a local community meeting with a construction company. The students really challenged each other with their worries and concerns for the local area, really drilling down into the problems and solutions for local people undergoing regeneration or a building project.

The third day was a real highlight for the students as they visited Mace’s Lancer Square site and got to see the theory from the first two days of the programme being implanted on a live site. The students all commented on how the site really brought alive the magnitude of a building project and really hit home to them how many people are required to carry out a successful construction.

“It was an amazing week for us as students to get a sense of what working is actually like. I felt like everyone we met was very supportive of our ideas and it was nice to talk about the future jobs we all want to do.”

For those students who prefer a more hands-on approach to work, a session building fairy houses for The Brompton Foundation Children’s Hospital gave them an opportunity to explore trade roles and speak to professionals who perform manual work every day.

By Thursday it was time to start promoting and building on each students’ individual skills, recognising their strengths and helping prepare them for interviews and the working world. Throughout the day the students met many inspirational Mace volunteers who shared their professional interview and work experiences. It’s always fascinating to discover the many different routes people take into industry careers and hearing about multiple pathways is really inspiring to a young person who doesn’t see going to university in their future.

“I am very thankful for such an opportunity that allowed me to really get to know the realities of construction and the extremely wide range of jobs within the industry. I am now genuinely considering jobs within the design sectors, like engineering, architecture and interior design, and perhaps even an apprenticeship with Mace in the near future!”

The week culminated in a presentation of the students’ project design plans for their builds in front of an industry panel. Pulling together their discovered knowledge of the new industry technology available, understanding of sustainable builds, managing community relations as well as managing to fulfil a project brief, the presentations were extremely comprehensive and impressive showcasing the students’ hard work from across the week.

The ability to work with a group of students intensively over 5 days allowed for the students to interact with an incredible amount of volunteers. The students were able to gain an understanding of how intricately all aspects of construction intertwine and the vast range of careers available in the sector.

For those participants interested in pursuing a career in construction our RBKC hub leads, Pearl and Kaitlyn, will work them one-to-one over their year 11 studies as part of our Building Bridges to Careers programme. The programme offers tailored support to help young people achieve successful post-16 outcomes. Our strong industry affiliation allows us to work with our industry partners to identify real pathways into employment and provide a direct route into industry for the young people we work with.