The Construction News Talent Awards took place on 21 November, celebrating ‘the people striving to make construction a more inclusive industry’, with the focus firmly on young talent, mentoring and D&I initiatives. It’s fantastic to see the ‘softer’ side of construction being given the importance it deserves, with winners from across the industry being honoured in categories such as ‘Graduate Initiative of the Year’ and ‘Excellence in Learning & Development’. It looks like key industry players are finally recognising the importance of diverse young talent in creating a dynamic, future-focused organisation.
This isn’t the only event this month to champion young people and their impact on the future. WorldSkills UK LIVE, the UK’s largest experiential apprenticeship and careers event, also took place this month. As a careers event, it brings together UK businesses with around 70,000 young people over three days. It also hosts the finals of the WorldSkills UK National Skills Competitions, where young people compete in a range of skills – from Construction Metal Work and Electrical Installation, to Mechanical Engineering CAD, Beauty Therapy, Landscaping and Welding. In crowning the nation’s brightest and best apprentices and young learners as champions in their chosen skill, the organisation is further highlighting the importance of getting young people ready to face the world of work and close the UK’s skills gap.
In addition, the CBI’s annual conference, held earlier this month, focused on how businesses can and must invest in the next generation to succeed. This includes tackling issues of social mobility and increasing funding for R&D to ensure young people have the technical skills to drive productivity into the future.
It’s heartening to see so many influential organisations taking age diversity seriously and making steps to develop and support the next generation.
Doing our part
All this talk of upskilling young people and plugging the skills gap is pivotal for securing the future of built environment industries. With an aging workforce, we need to tackle the lack of age diversity alongside issues of gender, ethnic and ability equality.
At Built By Us we are doing our part to join this mission and give young people from a range of backgrounds the chance to succeed. Our mentoring programmes partner less experienced individuals with those further down their career paths, to help share knowledge and learning across job roles and levels.
Building the future
In particular, our Build programme has been designed especially for people starting their careers in the industry. It provides support and information for anybody preparing to gain work experience, training, an apprenticeship or new role in a built environment field. Whether this is your first job or a brand new start, we are working with schools, colleges, individuals and employers to provide the support you’ll need to get on your feet.
This programme is suitable for those in education, unemployed, underemployed, or people who have taken a career break for 3 months.