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Engineering Promotion At Academy

10 April 2013

Costain personnel working in joint venture (jv) with Skanska on the Crossrail Paddington Station project are encouraging local school pupils to fulfil their potential and to consider construction as a career choice.

Staff are helping to boost the prospects of a group of pupils enrolled in a ‘Science academy’ at nearby college Paddington Academy. Together with several other organisations, including AstraZeneca, John Laing and the Science Museum, the Costain Skanska jv is providing personnel to give advice and practical help to the 16 and 17-year-olds. 

“It’s our opportunity to try to promote engineering,” said James York, Costain’s Community Relations Manager on the project, which is creating a new station box for the new underground station beside the west London terminal.

There are four strands to the help the project is providing.

Some staff will become mentors, meeting pupils assigned to them for an hour every few weeks to learn about the challenges they are facing and offering encouragement and careers advice.

Others will visit the academy as guest lecturers, while the pupils will get the chance to become interns. This will involve real duties with tangible results. “It will also give them a feel for what it’s like to get paid,” said James.

Finally, the project is offering site visits. This is one area where the Company has an advantage, said James. “That’s one thing some of the other companies really struggled with. A lot of them only have offices and the pupils would struggle to get something out of that. But they came here, saw a live site and got a talk from one of the engineers.

“A few people who had previously said ‘I definitely want to be a doctor’ came away from the visit thinking: ‘Perhaps I would like to be project director of a civil engineering project.’”

The Costain Skanska joint venture project has also struck up links with other schools in the area, offering practical help for youngsters about to enter the employment market by helping them compile CVs and giving them hints on interview techniques.