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Construction skills in spotlight

Construction skills came into focus when a ‘Building Careers for the Future’ event was held at Poundbury in Dorchester.

It highlighted the wide range of job roles available in the construction industry, as well as helping to challenge gender stereotypes and build links between education and the workplace.

The event was hosted by several employers and organisations including; Dorset Council, Construction Industry Training Board, Duchy of Cornwall, CG Fry & Son, Ford Civil Engineering Ltd, Magna Housing, The Careers & Enterprise Company, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership and Weymouth College.

As well as encouraging the construction of 20,000 new homes by 2033 and addressing housing need, Opening Doors aims to support the construction sector locally, especially in skills development to ensure there is a workforce able to build the new properties required in the area.

More than 100 students from Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester and All Saints in Weymouth spent a day learning about careers in construction at the event.

Pupils were split into groups and shown around the live construction site. As they watched industry professionals do their jobs, representatives from the businesses talked through the different opportunities available and shared career journeys of their current employees.

Between tours, students asked the construction employers and training providers questions and found out more about the different options available.

Jay Martin, Director at Ford Civil Engineering, said: “I think the event proved to be a great success and we’re very proud to be part of it.

“We all have an obligation to ensure that the younger generations continue to enter the building trade, to maintain the traditions previously set.

“This industry is so incredibly diverse with the opportunity to forge a lifelong career for literally anyone who is prepared to commit, engage and work hard.”

Kris Thorne, Head of Construction and Building Services from Weymouth College said: “We were really pleased to see so many people – both school students and adults – interested in learning more about the many career and training options available locally in the construction field.

“It’s an event we will definitely be looking to repeat and build upon.”

Robert Firth, Enterprise Coordinator at Dorset Council said: “This event is part of a wider programme to help inspire and prepare local young people for the fast-changing world of work.

“It’s great that we have so many employers supporting their local schools and colleges by offering pupils the chance to learn about different careers from people doing the jobs every day, so they can think about what they’d like to do in the future.”