This October, St. Modwen took part in the nationwide Open Doors event to give students from local schools a chance to see behind the site hoardings and showcase the fantastic range of careers available in construction. The event was also supported by the Considerate Contractors Scheme, the Careers Enterprise Company, Department for Work & Pensions and media partner, Construction News.
Delayed from its original planned date of March 2020 due to the pandemic, St. Modwen, in partnership with housebuilders on site, St. Modwen Homes, CALA Homes, Bellway and Taylor Wimpey, were pleased to be able to embrace the opportunity to offer an educational day at Kingsgrove to those keen to learn more about careers within the industry.
40 students from King Alfred’s Academy and Abingdon and Witney College were welcomed by St. Modwen’s Dinny Shaw and consultant, Jen Healy Innovations, and shown drone footage of the site from the start of construction to the present day. They were then taken on tours around the different phases of Kingsgrove’s housebuilding, during which they met and spoke to contractors on site, followed by Q&As in the Wantage Primary Academy school at Kingsgrove.
When asked which parts of the tour were most beneficial and why, students responded they were very interested in “walking through the site and going through the houses,” and commented it was “good to see the work first-hand” and particularly enjoyed “speaking to actual workers about their trades.” Two-thirds of the students were interested to know more and enthusiastic about a career in the construction industry.
Sue Cronin from King Alfred’s Academy said: “I have had some great feedback from students and the staff that they relayed back to. They really enjoyed the behind-the-scenes tour, and many are now motivated to explore their next steps in becoming a plumber, site manager and brick layer!”
William Bayston, Development Director at St. Modwen, said: “We are delighted to be involved in Open Doors and particularly excited to open Kingsgrove to the wider public of Wantage and the surrounding areas. It is a great platform for us to showcase the hard work and great variety of career opportunities involved in building new infrastructure and housing and creating new communities. We are proud to be a partner in this excellent initiative and showcase just what the construction industry has to offer.”
Sharon Dulai, Marketing Manager at CALA Chiltern, said:
“At a time when there’s a real shortage of skills in the construction industry, it’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to take visitors around our Fullers Meadow development and show them how exciting it is to build homes for the future.
There’s often a lack of awareness at the range of careers available in construction, but from Land Buyers to Site Managers, Architects to Marketing teams, there’s a role for everyone in the construction industry and we’re delighted to be able to inspire our future generations to be involved.”
Ray Lenton, Project Manager for St. Modwen Homes said:
“It was a pleasure to be part of such an important Open Doors event which helped give our younger generation an insight to the House Building Industry. I was encouraged to see the enthusiasm it created within the groups of participants and hopefully we have convinced some to choose and follow a career within!”
Simon Cook, Production Director for Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire, said:
“Housebuilding offers a wide range of career options across a number of skilled sectors, and it’s really important that we demonstrate how people of all backgrounds can take their first steps into the industry. It was a pleasure to open up our Downland at Kingsgrove development and talk about what we do on site. We hope that we have provided the spark of inspiration that leads people to some fantastic careers in housebuilding.”
Open Doors seeks to inspire young people and career changers to consider and explore a dynamic and exciting career in the construction industry. St. Modwen is dedicated to not only changing places, but also to creating better futures for the people that live and work within their communities and their neighbours.