Gleeds shine spotlight on skills in construction

An innovate new project launched in Nottingham last week – designed to shine a spotlight on jobs and skills within the construction sector, and encourage more young people into the industry.

BE Inspired aims to combat the skills shortage locally, following news that the gap is widening across the construction sector, with fewer young people choosing professions in architecture, surveying, engineering, project management and planning.

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is linking with the Construction Industry Council to launch BE Inspired – a competition for students from Nottingham Business School and the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.

Students were asked to join forces and produce a three-minute video and outline social media campaign aimed at young people. The project aims to engage and inform young adults studying at school or college that a career in the construction industry offers lots of opportunity.

Maria Willis, of Construction Coach and chair of the East Midlands Construction Industry Council, is working with the university to help launch BE Inspired.

She said: “The essence of the brief is The Apprentice meets Dragon’s Den style competition with NTU students. We want students to design a social media campaign to include video and involvement from people in the industry to attract young people into construction – and to draw attention to the many professions there are within the sector.”

Gleeds is headline sponsors of the event and is joined by local businesses, including: Mace, Innes England, RizkMcCay and Cartwright Communications. Each sponsor has nominated a representative for the BE Inspired competition and is offering support to the students who sign up.

The competition launched on Thursday 29th October with speed networking for students from the two schools to form teams.  In November, the teams will present their initial ideas to a Dragons’ Den-style panel made up of sponsors and partners.

Gleeds Recruitment Manager and BE Inspired panellist, Jackie Lister, said: “We’re really excited to be part of the campaign. It’s important that businesses like ours are proactive in attracting new talent to fill the growing number of job opportunities across the industry, not only in the UK but across the world.”

She added: “We’re always looking for inspiring new ways to connect with young people. Reaching out to students while they are still studying gives them a good opportunity to really understand what the industry is about – there are hundreds of different career paths to choose from!”

In January, teams will be shortlisted and asked to present their strategies to the panel. In March, there will be an official launch event and prize-giving at Antenna in Nottingham to show the winning team’s video. The package will then be used in industry to encourage young people into the construction sector.

Winners of the competition will not only get a cash prize, but also a valuable insight into the workings of property and construction.

With around 35% of career advisers believing that a career in construction is unattractive, many perceive the industry to have a non-academic career path – and as a result fewer young people are going into roles in architecture, project management and construction.

Fiona Winfield, Nottingham Trent University employability coordinator, said: “Be Inspired gives our students the chance to develop their transferable skills and enhance their employability. It’s also a great opportunity for them to work closely with employers and build their professional contacts, all while learning about an industry in which they may decide to follow a career path when they graduate.”

To learn more about the campaign follow @GleedsTV on twitter #BEInspired