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Highways Team Promotes Construction Careers

13 May 2015

Costain staff working on Highways England’s M1 Smart Motorways (M1SM) project are helping inspire the next generation to consider careers in construction.

Eight apprentices and engineers volunteered to take the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) Construction Ambassadors course at the project’s Markham Vale, Derbyshire offices. Delivered by Rhian Lawton, the area’s CITB Construction Careers Adviser, the day-long course covered presentation skills, the education system and the role of the CITB.

“Construction Ambassadors are vital to inspiring the next generation,” said Rhian. “By visiting schools and talking to young people about life in the construction industry, they help raise awareness of the career opportunities the industry can offer.

“The course is also excellent for delegates’ personal development, helps enhance their presentation skills and improves their understanding of the industry as a whole.”

Engaging with schools is also one of the key commitments of the M1SM project’s National Skills Academy for Construction (NSAfC). Said Natalie Peacock, Costain Project Skills Co-ordinator: “We already have some Construction Ambassadors but this is the first time we have held a Construction Ambassadors course. There’s a high level of interest in the scheme that hopefully will enable us to hold a course next year too.”

One of those attending this year was Sean Bennett, Engineer, who joined Costain at the beginning of 2014. He is keen to share his experience in the industry: “I left school at 16 to become an apprentice carpenter, worked my way up and in 2013 gained a degree in construction and project management. So I want to show young people that even if they don’t think they’re ready for further or higher education now, a job in construction can give them the chance to pursue that later on. I know I wasn’t ready at 16 but at 24 I was willing to learn. Working in the construction industry gave me the opportunity to develop and change my career, and that’s the message I want to get across.”

Rhian is now looking to place Sean and the project’s other new Construction Ambassadors in local schools.

“The day was very positive with all the delegates really engaged and interested and keen to promote our industry. They all have different roles and have followed different routes into construction, so are positive role models who can give young people a real life perspective on the industry.”





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