The event is a collaboration between construction firm Hobson & Porter, Jewson and Bishop Burton College – a long-standing partner of Hobson & Porter, which hosted the event in its equine arena. The college’s construction department experiences year-on-year growth and Foundations Live is becoming an important date in its calendar.
The event aims to inspire young people to consider a career in construction by showcasing the variety of roles and training available. This aim, which saw Foundations Live get off to a successful start in 2016, is what drew the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to this year’s event as a supporter.
More than 50 industry organisations exhibited their products and services at Foundations Live 2017, including national suppliers to the construction trade, representatives from the local supply chain, local authorities and training providers. Due to the size of the event, it was moved to the arena from last year’s location at Bishop Burton College’s construction workshop.
Dave Blades, Business Development Director for Hobson & Porter, said: “This year’s Foundations Live event received a brilliant response – we had an even bigger and better turnout than last year’s event. People of all ages from primary school pupils to adult re-trainers came along to find out about the great variety of career options in the construction industry. It was also a great opportunity for organisations to exhibit their products and services, network with other suppliers and tap into the potential among other students.”
Pupils from Biggin Hill Primary School, one of four primary schools which attended the event, tried their hand at bricklaying during a workshop held during the event. Miss Hamilton, a teacher from Biggin Hill, said: “The children responded really well to the event, and many of them have been discussing how they would like to work in construction when they are older. It was a really useful career initiative which has a lot of benefits for those attending.”
One of the pupils from Biggin Hill Primary, Grace Hare, aged 10, said: “I found the event to be really exciting, it taught me about building and made me think about doing it as a job when I’m older.”
As part of Foundations Live 2017, the CITB and affiliated training bodies held surgeries and drop-in sessions to educate people on training grants available and support for employing apprentices. Janice Chattaway, advisor for the CITB Humber region, said: “At CITB, we’ve been working hard to help the construction industry in Yorkshire and the Humber to attract and retain new recruits. The sessions we held at Foundations Live were designed to be informative and educational to employers and training providers which may not have been aware of the funding available to them and how to go about applying for it.
“According to our CSN forecast, there will be over 9,000 construction jobs that need to be filled in Yorkshire and the Humber over the next five years, and so we were very keen to promote the industry’s recruitment campaign Go Construct to make sure young people in the region know how varied and rewarding a career in construction can be.
“We also received an excellent response from students seeking apprenticeships in the industry, and were able to educate them on the process of applying for these. We had a huge number of enquiries which shows there is a growing demand for careers in the industry.”
Jeremy Hara, Course Manager for Construction at Bishop Burton College, said: “We are delighted with the response to this year’s Foundations Live event. Our construction department is committed to developing pupil’s employability and preparing them for their future careers, and the event was hugely beneficial to those that attended.
“By being part of this initiative, our construction and engineering students will benefit from hands-on, practical training alongside the major employers in the region; helping them to develop the skills needed to succeed in the industry.
“The event was a great opportunity for students to meet and network with some of the major employers in the region, and learn more about the career paths available to them after they have completed their studies. It was a very productive day for everyone that attended and I would like to thank all involved.”
Shaun Flint, Regional Manager from Jewson, said: “We are proud to continue our partnership of this hugely worthwhile event. We remain committed to supporting initiatives which benefit the community and construction as a whole. It’s great to see Foundations Live continues to grow on last year’s event, and it’s a sure sign that we can be successful in bridging the skills gap in the industry.”