Our enrichment programme is aimed at year eight students (although can be adapted to suit different year groups), and gives them a real-world understanding of the career and life opportunities available to them. We are helping young people at risk of becoming NEET learn about construction.
The sessions normally runs over five (90 or 120 minute) sessions, one session per week and these include:
A visit to a live construction site where students have the opportunity to meet key people involved in the build, ask questions and see first-hand the sort of projects we work on. They hear about each stage of the on-site process and learn how to look at things differently.
In a classroom based session, students explore Willmott Dixon Construction as we give an overview of the business. The students then meet several different people working in the construction industry through a speed networking carousel where they can gain a better understanding of the broad spectrum of roles – including meeting some of our women working in construction and breaking down stereotypes.
In a practical session, students take on one of the roles they learnt about in the speed networking event. They work in teams to plan, design, cost and build a structure working from a project brief – the students then present their build back to the rest of the group.
We take the students to visit our office at One SnowHill Birmingham, where they have the opportunity to dive into the world of digital. The students spend some time with our Digital Technology Engineers and gain an understanding of how technology and construction work together. Students are also able to experience our fully immersive Digital Design Room which is used by our people, partners and customers to help them fully appreciate and understand a space or building’s design. The fully immersed environment enables the students to have access to 3D models, 280 degree videos and building data.
Working with the Institute of Civil Engineers, the students are able to put everything they’ve learnt across the programme into practice and see their designs come to life as they are given the task to construct a suspension bridge that they must be able to walk over. These activities focus on team work, logical thinking and problem solving.
Nick Gibb, deputy managing director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands, said:
“It’s great to see such genuine engagement from the students in both the theoretical and practical application of construction techniques. Through partnerships such as these, and engaging directly with our people who are all delivering outstanding projects across the country, we hope to go some way in encouraging the next generation of skilled construction workers into the industry.”