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3 top tips for engaging young people

Those who have succeeded offer advice on how to excite a new generation and change construction’s image.

1) Run a successful campaign

MyKindaFuture is part of a team set up to deliver Channel 4’s ambition for its workforce to reflect the UK population by 2020.

It helps employers access new talent and get them onto work experience, internship, apprenticeship and graduate programmes.

MyKindaFuture has been working with the Chartered Institute of Building to create a resource for children and teachers, and has also run a successful campaign with Crossrail.

“More than any other industry, construction career opportunities are so closely linked with the economic cycle,” says MyKindaFuture managing director William Akerman.

“And in the downturn, the industry seems to abandon engagement with young people and their influencers. Once you do that, it can’t suddenly be switched back on.”

Read more on the ways MyKindaFuture is successful opening up construction to the next generation

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2) Work with schools

Bam Construction engagement with schools has turned into a mini-industry, with the company engaging with around 12,000 students every year.

“We do look for ways where we can integrate construction activity into the curriculum, particularly among primary schools – it’s essential to catch their interest early on,” says Bam Construction director of learning and development Chris Jones.

“With normal work experience there is a limit to what students are able do. But moving to this more practical approach gives them with a defined output at the end of the week.”

Check out Bam’s top five essentials for effective site visits

3) Open sites to the public

As part of the Open Doors event in March this year, Taylor Woodrow organised visits to the £142m depot at Old Oak Common in London, while Morgan Sindall invited a trip round its new £11.3m Health and Care Centre in Glasgow.

“We had two boys change their choice of degree course from electrical to civil engineering on the back of the visit,” says Taylor Woodrow stakeholder manager Chris Staples.

Morgan Sindall’s Carla Taylor-Combe says the devil is in the detail: “The key is making the visit as interesting as possible, with co-ordinated visits and careers information that demonstrate just how much opportunity there is in the industry.”

Find out how initiatives like Open Doors can help your firm tackle the skills shortage

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