Ebbsfleet Development Corporation awards funding to Construction Youth Trust to inspire our young people in North Kent to start Building Future Skills

31/03/2022 News

We are delighted to have been awarded funding by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation to deliver a 3-month long project, creating awareness of the career opportunities within the built environment and to inspire young people to consider a career path within the sector.

 

There are two elements to the 3-month project. The Built Environment Careers programme, comprises of a series of employer-led activities that raise awareness of careers within the built environment and contextualises a student’s learning in real world-of work scenarios.

The second aspect focused on the delivery of two Building Future Skills (BFS) programmes in February and March with young people from across our partner schools in North Kent. The programmes encouraged the young people to consider the design of their local community and the Ebbsfleet Garden City Project including the Blue Lake Development. Over the two programmes, we were thrilled to be joined by 31 industry volunteers from Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, CITB, DGP Logistics PLC, United Living, Skanska, Clarion and Countryside!

Building Future Skills programme spotlight

16 young people took part in collaborative team working to redesign the local Northfleet Youth Centre and pitched their ideas to a panel of industry experts. With each young person taking on an unique job role in their team, the programme put the participants into a true-to-life professional situation where they had to utilise communication and team work skills to impress the judges with their ideas.

“I was really impressed by the students’ ideas, I wouldn't have thought of some of their ideas myself at their age” – Volunteer from the programme

Skanska generously hosted the programme and we were delighted to welcome 11 different industry volunteers from Skanska, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force on to the programme who contributed over 30+ hours of support. Whether it be a Careers Networking session or Apprenticeships Q&A to judging the student’s presentations, our industry volunteers provided the students with expert guidance which will be indispensable for our young people as they take on the next steps in their careers.                                                 

“Ebbsfleet Development Corporation are delighted to be funding the Building Future Skills programme with Construction Youth Trust in the Ebbsfleet area. It is our ambition to develop a pipeline of future talent within the built environment sector to assist developers and contractors in Ebbsfleet Garden City.

Ensuring local young people have the skills to work locally is vital to economic growth and sustainable careers and the BFS programme not only enhances those skills, it also inspires young people and creates awareness of the many wide-ranging opportunities that the Garden City is developing. 

The projects presented by the February group were a great reflection of their understanding of the processes and roles and responsibilities required for construction projects. It was also inspiring to see the ideas of the younger generation who ultimately will be the custodians of Ebbsfleet Garden City.” – Lara Pool, Business Development Manager at Ebbsfleet Development Corporation

The teams threw themselves into their tasks. During the stakeholder engagement task, each team took the role of a different stakeholder, acting as a local authority, residents or environmental group and held a meeting to discuss plans for a new Youth centre. It was a real eye-opener for the young people into the planning that goes behind constructing a community project and the need for different viewpoints.

“I liked it all but the best (part) was doing the posters and thinking about how building sites affect the community” – Student from the programme

The students also took part in a site visit at the O’Halloran & O’Brien Groundworks Gravesend site where they had the opportunity to use a Plant Operator simulator, sitting in the operator’s seat and getting a glimpse into the day-to-day job of a Plant Operator on site! It inspired our young people to map out their own futures and think about the roles they could see themselves in.

“I thought the site visit was really cool. I would be up to doing the 2 week programme at OHOB (O’Halloran & O’Brien) and maybe getting a job there” - Student from the programme

The young people came leaps and bounds in building their confidence and employability skills and their hard work was evident in their final presentations to the judges! At the end of the programme, nearly all the students reported an improvement in their knowledge and interest in careers in the construction and built environment sector, their professional skills (e.g. interview skills, teamwork, leadership etc.) as well as an improvement in their self-confidence and self-esteem.

At the core of the BFS programme is using employer-led sessions to support young people in developing the soft skills that will help them succeed on their career journey. We want to ensure that the young people leave the 3 day programme with the tools and confidence to successfully take on their next steps!

Thank you to Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and all our industry volunteers for their support in inspiring our young people in North Kent!