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30 hours

STaff time

Over £11,000

Social return on investment


Students engaged

Adopt a school to inspire the next generation

Buddying up with St James School, Exeter to improve students’ understanding of construction

With an estimated 220,000 construction jobs being created in the UK over the next five years, the construction industry is growing.

However, the sector faces a significant skills gap. One of the reasons for this is young people are put off from entering the profession, often due to a lack of understanding of the roles on offer or skewed perceptions of the industry.

To inspire the next generation, and as part of the Construction Excellence South West ‘Adopt a School’ initiative, we partnered with St James School, Exeter, whilst building Exeter’s new Police Station at Middlemoor.

Our partnership helped to educate students on the breadth of roles on offer in construction - supporting our aim to help young people make informed decisions about their careers – in addition to helping the school achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks.

To kick off our partnership, we took a group of Year 9 students and their teachers onto a site visit at Middlemoor to learn more about the project as well as the different roles involved. We facilitated work experience placements for two Year 10 students, both on the Middlemoor site and in the office, and have since arranged a placement for a third student.

We also supported numerous careers and employability events and activities at the school and additional site visits, work placements and career events are being planned.

Kelly Avery, Student Mentor, St James School, Exeter said: “I want to say a huge thank you for today. What a fantastic visit we had and the students were so impressed.”


86 students took part in our programme where they visited our sites and learnt more about careers in construction.