Construction graduates on mission to plug skills gap

There’s much more to the construction industry than bricks and muddy boots.

That’s the message from a trio of graduates from Barratt Developments in Bristol, who love their jobs so much they’re organising an event in Bath to encourage others to consider a career in housebuilding. 

The construction industry has been suffering from a ‘skills gap’ for several years, with many of the current workforce retiring and not enough new people to replace them. According to figures from the UK’s construction union UCATT, women are even less likely to pursue a career in the industry, with just one per cent of workers on site being female.

Young people from Barratt Developments’ graduate programme have joined forces in a bid to change the current situation. Three of the graduates, Jasmine Sommers, Dan Coleman and George Kimber are organising a day of interactive workshops open to all college and university students in Bath to showcase the wide variety of jobs in housebuilding. Graduates from Barratt Developments’ graduate programme, who are hoping to inspire the next generation to take up a career in construction

The group has organised everything itself, from booking inspirational guest speakers to organising activities for the day. They have even secured the support of south west businesses, with Plymouth-based Jem Scaffolding coming on board as official sponsor.

During the event attendees with take part in six workshops, with workplace scenarios and challenges to put their skills to the test. The activities will reflect the various departments at Barratt Homes and its sister company, David Wilson Homes, from planning and technical to construction, finance and sales.

Jasmine, 22, said: “When I was younger I was always looking for the next thing to do. I could never just sit and not be active. I knew I had to find a job which tested my creativity and knowledge. Although I didn’t intentionally follow a career in construction, I fell into the job and it has been the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Jasmine and the team are encouraging schools and colleges to send their pupils along to the event, which is completely free to attend on September 18. They say that by attending youngsters could also find a surprising new career path.

Chris Burton, managing director for Barratt Developments in the south west, said: “We are so proud of Jasmine, Dan and George. They’re a shining example of how our employees are motivated and go the extra mile to help others. Construction is a fun and rewarding industry to work in and I’m pleased to see our graduates are helping to spread the word.” 

The Building Futures workshop takes place on Monday September 18 at Bailbrook House, Bath from 9am.

Schools and colleges can book places for as many pupils as they like by emailing Individuals are also welcome to apply for a free place.


August 2, 2017

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