At VolkerFitzpatrick, we are proud to embed social value into our projects. By focusing on education and employability, we not only make a positive impact on the local communities in which we work, but also leave a legacy long after our projects are completed.
A recent report by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) suggested that more than 40,000 people will need to join the sector every year in the next five years if projected growth is met. VolkerFitzpatrick is proud to be in a position to offer a range of opportunities to learn and develop within the industry. As well as ensuring that a minimum of 5% of our total workforce consists of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formal training schemes, we are also providing a number of work experience placements for college students.
At a VolkerFitzpatrick project in Dagenham, the team recently partnered with Brook 6th Form and Academy and Barking and Dagenham College to offer three T-Level industry placement opportunities and six two-week work placements.
T-Levels are new, two-year, Level 3 study programmes that follow the study of GCSEs and offer an attractive alternative to A Levels and apprenticeships. Combining classroom theory, practical learning and a minimum of 315 hours of industry placement, students obtain a real experience of the workplace environment.
To recruit for these placements, we created an employability programme for the two colleges that provided information in an interactive and fun way. The programme allowed for healthy competition between the students, with the premise that if they wanted the industry placement opportunity, they should earn it.
Eight team members of our Dagenham project volunteered 49 hours across three separate events. They attended an opening evening for sixth form students, and held two ‘careers into construction’ events, which consisted of a project brief, site tour, construction challenge and careers workshop.
Throughout these events, the team was tasked to ‘talent spot’ those who showed a keen interest, desire and passion for taking on a placement. It was an excellent opportunity for all students involved to have ‘on the job’ exposure whilst working towards their qualification.
We received excellent feedback and invited eight students to attend an interview in January. We are proud to name the three selected students as Krishan, Reece and Sam. They will be joining the site team in Dagenham, working sporadically through until July. The programme also provided the opportunity for a further six, two-week work experience placements over the next six months.
As well as aiding the students journey from college to work, the placements should equip them with relevant skills, helping them to fulfil their potential within the construction industry.
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