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09/05/2019To tackle negative misperceptions about industry and inspire young people about careers in construction and the built environment, it is essential...
Meet the Professionals was initially designed as a session for KS4 students as an opportunity to broaden their career considerations. However, one of the main aims of our Schools Partnership work is to engage with young people at an early stage in order to introduce and inspire them about the diverse range of available careers in the construction and built environment industry, so we decided to trial the session with Year 8 (12/13 year old) students. A large majority of young people are unaware of the breadth of careers available in industry and we want to increase their knowledge of our sector, exciting them about careers in construction and the built environment so they are able to make informed choices as they progress through their school career.
During the session, students have the chance to talk to industry volunteers representing a range of STEM-related careers. In groups, students move from table to table, interviewing the professionals about their roles and how they found their way into careers within industry. Our trial session was an absolute hit with both the Year 8 students and the volunteers alike. In Year 8 students are settled into their secondary school learning but not yet mired in exams. They have the room to explore and consider new career avenues and have a refreshing inquisitiveness that has yet to be dampened by the stresses of expectation from family, teachers and themselves.
Whilst career possibilities are still endless, it is by meaningfully engaging with young people at this early stage that we have the opportunity to inspire them about careers in construction and the built environment, before they are committed to pursuing another industry.
We are very much looking forward to the next set of sessions with Year 8 at Compass School. Their fearless approach to interviewing the professionals and really getting to the heart of their inquiries was very impressive. We were particularly impressed with the rewording of ‘how much do you earn’, to ‘what kind of lifestyle does your career support’? Perhaps there’s a career in politics for these young people too…