Budding Brunels with British Land at 4 Kingdom Street

The next generation of the construction industry had a taste of the sector recently when they took part in ‘Budding Brunels’, our schools engagement programme in partnership with British Land.

21 students aged 16-19 took part in the three-day programme, which focused on British Land’s current development of at 4 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central. The workshop incorporated practical activities for the students, a site tour of 4 Kingdom Street and employability skills. All activities were supported by professional volunteers from British Land and their supply chain working on the 4 Kingdom Street development.

Budding Brunels is an Open College Network London (OCN) accredited course that gives young people, from a diverse range of backgrounds, an insight into the Built Environment, and provides industry-led careers advice from professionals in the field. Our aim is to inform students of the variety of careers available within the construction industry and help them improve their employability skills.

Day 1 of the course was based at 4 Kingdom Street and included an introduction to British Land and the work taking place. The students engaged in an industry networking activity with volunteers from British Land and their supply chain. The day culminated with a health and safety talk and a tour of the live site at 4 Kingdom Street.

Day 2 was based at Imperial College and students were tasked with a number of interrelated activities that would prepare them for presentations they would deliver on day 3. Activities included:

  • A tower building challenge that required students to design and then build their interpretation for the development to be based at 5 Kingdom Street.  
  • A construction site logistics activity that linked to their tour of the Kingdom Street estate.
  • A public consultation role play activity to encourage students to appreciate construction from stakeholders who are potentially impacted in a negative way from a development such as 4 Kingdom Street. 

Volunteers from Allies and Morrison, British Land, M3 Consulting, Wates, SCS Group and TFT Consultants supported students throughout the day; suggesting ideas and prompting students to justify their decisions.

Faye Young, a volunteer from SCS Group, volunteered to attend the event as an industry expert, and gave the students lots of help and advice during the activity. She talked to the different student groups, took interest in the designs they were thinking about and gave guidance during the design and build phase.

Faye said: ”I found the programme very inspiring. It was fascinating to see students’ creativity and what they were able to achieve in a short space of time. We have been thinking of working with schools to engage young people at an earlier stage of their decision-making process, therefore it was great to see how the programme was structured and how the delegates performed and responded to the tasks given.” 

On the third and final day students spent the morning in their teams from the previous day developing presentations they would deliver to an industry panel. The teams then presented to a panel of volunteers from M3 Consulting, Construction Youth Trust and SCS Group who gave feedback to each group on their content and performance, before deliberating and declaring an overall winner.

In the afternoon, the students took part in an interview skills workshop as preparation for their industry led interviews. The day concluded with volunteers conducting formal interviews with the students whilst Construction Youth Trust staff oversaw Open College Network London handbook completions.

As a result of the programme nine students were selected for a week-long work placement with British Land or its supply chain, taking place in the school holidays. 

We run the Budding Brunels course on a regular basis during term time and welcome potential corporate partners, schools or students to get in touch if they are interested in finding out more. Find upcoming courses here.