Inspiring the next generation of construction workers

Robert Woodhead Ltd has joined forces with Dukeries Academy in Ollerton to encourage students to become the next generation of joiners, plasterers, plumbers, electricians and painters.

Set up as part of Woodhead’s BIG (Building to Inspire a Generation) initiative, the Edwinstowe-based company will offer young people at Dukeries even more opportunities to learn about the construction industry, spend time in a ‘real world’ site environment and learn key interview and CV writing skills, preparing them for the world of work.

Teresa Westwood, Considerate Management Director at Robert Woodhead Ltd, said: “As the skills gap in the construction industry becomes a growing concern for all of us, we have to find a way to bring more people into the sector.

“Many highly skilled and experienced tradespeople are now approaching retirement, with not enough young people trained and ready to take their place. We want to change that.

“We will continue to work alongside Dukeries Academy to further develop the young people already being nurtured by the school’s fantastic construction department. We want to give them unrivalled opportunities to see more of the industry that we’re very proud to work in.”

The BIG partnership will offer students a chance to:

  • Learn more about employability skills, interview training, CV writing and mentoring
  • Take part in on-site skills days
  • Go on site visits
  • Go on a work experience placement.

Woodhead will also attend and support careers and skills events within the school.

Dukeries Academy Principal, Ian Barton, said: “The link up between Woodhead Group and the Dukeries Academy is a valuable opportunity for our students to experience life beyond school. To gain an understanding of the construction industry and the benefits that it brings. We are looking forward to developing the relationship over the next two years.”

The partnership between Woodhead and Dukeries Academy was developed as part of the Adopt a School programme.

Woodhead is one of the contractors on the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) framework which was formed by local authorities in the East Midlands and is managed by Scape Group. It aims to improve the procurement and delivery of construction projects and property maintenance for public sector bodies – saving time and money for them and in turn for council taxpayers.

Ian Towlson, regional frameworks manager for empa said: “At empa we are committed to working with our partners and our dedicated training academy to provide ongoing development opportunities for young people who want to pursue a career in construction. These sessions delivered by Woodhead will give young people invaluable skills to help them secure a training or apprentice role within the construction industry.”

CAPTION: Dukeries Principal, Ian Barton, sits with Teresa Westwood, Considerate Management Director at Robert Woodhead Ltd, to sign the BIG partnership agreement. They are joined by a group of Year 10 students from Dukeries’ construction programme.