UNICEF, in partnership with Colombian social enterprise Conceptos Plasticos, today announced it had broken ground on a first-of-its-kind factory that will convert plastic waste collected in Côte d’Ivoire into modular plastic bricks. The easy-to-assemble, durable, low-cost bricks will be used to build much needed classrooms in the West African country.

“This factory will be at the cutting edge of smart, scalable solutions for some of the major education challenges that Africa’s children and communities face,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Its potential is threefold: more classrooms for children in Côte d’Ivoire, reduced plastic waste in the environment, and additional income avenues for the most vulnerable families.”

Côte d’Ivoire needs 15,000 classrooms to meet the needs of children without a place to learn. To help fill this gap, UNICEF has partnered with Conceptos Plasticos to use recycled plastic collected from polluted areas in and around Abidjan to build 500 classrooms for more than 25,000 children with the most urgent need in the next two years, with potential to increase production beyond.

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“One of the major challenges facing Ivorian school children is a lack of classrooms. They either don’t exist, or when they do, they are overcrowded, making learning a challenging and unpleasant experience,” said UNICEF Representative Dr. Aboubacar Kampo, who has championed the project from its inception. “In certain areas, for the first-time, kindergartners from poor neighborhoods would be able to attend classrooms with less than 100 other students. Children who never thought there would be a place for them at school will be able to learn and thrive in a new and clean classroom.”

More than 280 tonnes of plastic waste are produced every day in Abidjan alone. Only about 5 per cent is recycled – the rest mostly ends up in landfill sites in low-income communities. Plastic waste pollution exacerbates existing hygiene and sanitation challenges. Improper waste management is responsible for 60 per cent of malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia cases in children – diseases that are among the leading causes of death for children in Côte d’Ivoire.

Once it is fully operational, the factory will recycle 9,600 tonnes of plastic waste a year and provide a source of income to women living in poverty in a formalized recycling market. Nine classrooms have been built in Gonzagueville, Divo and Toumodi using plastic bricks made in Colombia, demonstrating the viability of the construction methods and materials.

“We partnered with UNICEF on this project because we want our business model to have a social impact. By turning plastic pollution into an opportunity, we want to help lift women out of poverty and leave a better world for children,” said Isabel Cristina Gamez, Co-Founder and CEO, Conceptos Plasticos.

The bricks will be made from 100 per cent plastic and are fire resistant. They are 40 per cent cheaper, 20 per cent lighter and will last hundreds of years longer than conventional building materials. They are also waterproof, well insulated and designed to resist heavy wind.

Alongside investment to build in Côte d’Ivoire, plans are also under way to scale this project to other countries in the region, and potentially beyond. West and central Africa accounts for one-third of the world’s primary school age children and one-fifth of lower secondary age children who are out of school.

Sometimes, embedded deep within our most pressing challenges are promising opportunities,” said Fore. “This project is more than just a waste management and education infrastructure project; it is a functioning metaphor—the growing challenge of plastic waste turned into literal building blocks for a future generation of children.”

 

Source: UNICEF

 

The building blocks of Doncaster UTC are starting to take place as the main contractors have been appointed, just weeks after the principal was announced.

Willmott Dixon, the company who built the National College for High Speed Rail and XP School in the borough, are working with Doncaster UTC.

Garath Rawson, principal of Doncaster UTC, said: “The designs put forward by Willmott Dixon for Doncaster UTC really excited the project team as we look to provide a modern, practical and aspirational learning environment which will benefit students and staff alike.

“We want the new building to be an iconic town centre building that really adds something to the redevelopment of this area of Doncaster, as well as meeting the needs of our students who are embarking on an exciting journey in advanced engineering and creative and digital design.

“As such, the building will include a mixture of general teaching spaces and specialist teaching spaces to deliver the curriculum, including the digital aspects such as coding, and specialist engineering equipment for our students to develop key skills.

“A business collaboration hub will be created to allow students to engage with our business partners and employers, giving them the opportunity to gain first-hand insights into industry while still at school.

“Outdoor social, dining and learning spaces will be complemented with a Fab Lab, dedicated open plan engineering space, a MUGA pitch and an outdoor curriculum garden – the Engineering Zone. In addition, there will be a fantastic roof terrace open to all.

“We are looking forward to working with Willmott Dixon, who have a great track record of delivering impressive buildings that are not only fit for purpose but really meet the needs of the end users, in this case students.

“Their designs have already started to bring this project to life and we are looking forward to opening our doors to our first year 9 and year 12 students in September 2020.”

Doncaster UTC will be a school for 13-19 year olds led by employers to provide a vocational learning environment. With a core curriculum based around STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, the UTC will provide an opportunity for students to specialise in engineering and creative and digital technologies.

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The UTC will be part of a new Multi Academy Trust called the Brighter Futures Learning Partnership Trust (BFLPT) alongside a number of primary schools and Hungerhill School.

Paul Stockhill, owner and managing director of Agemaspark Ltd, an employer partner of the UTC, said: “The appointment of the contractors for Doncaster UTC is another huge step forward.

“The employer partners are very impressed by the designs that include sports halls, an open plan dining space and flexible, open learning spaces to allow for creative learning experiences. There will also be a Post-16 study area for Years 12 and 13 students giving them the space to work independently.”

Source: The Star

 

Construction on a new secondary school in Derbyshire – which began four years ago and was hit by the collapse of Carillion – is now finally due to be completed.

Work began on the new David Nieper Academy in Grange Street, Alfreton in 2015.

However, the grounds have been left looking like a deserted building site for well over a year, after the construction giant in charge of the scheme fell into liquidation.

At the time, it had 420 UK public sector contracts.

In February, the Local Democracy Reporting Service visited the site and saw piles of unused pipes, fencing, rubble and mounds of soil surrounding the new academy.

VIEW VIDEO HERE:

In total, the project was due to cost £15 million, but due to the delay, this is likely to have increased.

The new cost of the school has not yet been revealed due to commercial sensitivity.

Rubble and fencing is strewn across what is supposed to be the newly built entry way for David Nieper Academy in Alfreton (Image: Derby Telegraph)

Carillion was the chosen company contracted by the Department for Education as part of its Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).

This programme aims to repair or replace the schools most in need of support.

It aims to rebuild and refurbish 277 schools between 2015 and 2021.

The Department for Education has now appointed a new contractor, VolkerFitzpatrick Construction, to finish off the school and its open spaces and playing fields, and the aim is to have it all completed by autumn.

VolkerFitzpatrick is an established building firm and its recent work includes the £40 million redevelopment of Gatwick Airport train station, a £27 million upgrade of train stations in East Anglia, a £20 million combat systems academy in Portsmouth and the Sheffield Supertram Rail Replacement Scheme.

Construction on the main school buildings themselves was completed in February 2017 and it has provided education for 850 pupils since then.

However, two-and-a-half years on, it is the landscaping of the school grounds which has been left covered in rubble, soil, security fencing and pipes.

Pupils and staff are having to use an alternative entrance, via the neighbouring Woodbridge Junior School.

This involves walking down a narrow corridor of more security fencing and more rubble.

Dr Kathryn Hobbs, head teacher of David Nieper Academy, said: “We are delighted that work has restarted on our grounds.

“The new contractors, VolkerFitzpatrick Construction, have made an excellent start and have worked very closely with academy staff to ensure that teaching and learning is not impacted by the work.

“We are all very much looking forward to the completion of our academy grounds in the autumn term which will further enhance our wonderful new buildings and facilities.”

Christopher Nieper, managing director of David Nieper Ltd and chair of trustees for David Nieper Education Trust (left) and Dr Kathryn Hobbs, David Nieper Academy head teacher (Image: David Nieper Academy)

David Nieper became an academy in 2016 after being rated inadequate by the education watchdog Ofsted. An academy receives funding directly from central government, and operates outside of the county council’s control. Academies have more control over behaviour policy, curriculum, opening hours, staff pay and uniform.

It became the first school in Derbyshire to be sponsored by a local company, David Nieper Ltd, a women’s fashion retailer which is based in the town.

Carillion went into compulsory liquidation on January 15, 2018.

It was the UK’s second-largest construction company, employing 20,000 workers in the UK and 43,000 staff worldwide.

The Wolverhampton firm had debts of £1.5 billion and a £587 million pensions shortfall.

Source: Derbyshire Live

A frustrated councillor claims Lib Dem leader Ruth Dombey is “playing politics” by opposing current plans to build schools in her own ward.

Catherine Gray, Conservative councillor for Sutton West, says “subjective” concerns over proposed designs for the Rosehill Recreation Ground development should be put to one side given the shortage of secondary schools places in the borough.

Ruth Dombey, council leader and representative for Sutton North, refuses to back the plans in their current form as an independent design panel has recommended improvements.

Cllr Gray, 34, who has a daughter entering year five, said: “The design of any building is subjective.

“I’d rather my kids are educated in an ugly building, as long as it’s clean, functional and has the right facilities, than in unreliable temporary buildings.

“I think Cllr Dombey is acting in her own interests as the development is in her ward. She’s trying to keep her constituents happy.

“Given where we are, I think design concerns have to be put to one side.

“The design of a building doesn’t guarantee a good education, and the Council has a legal duty to ensure children have a school place.”

In March, the Lib Dem-controlled council announced an extra 134 secondary school spaces were needed in the borough.

The proposed plans would see a non-selective secondary comprehensive and a specialist school for children with autism built on the brownfield site, which was formerly an all-weather sports pitch.

Subject to planning permission, the schools are due to open in 2021 but it is understood plans are being put in place to open a temporary site next year to meet demand.

However, a temporary site can only be put in place if planning permission is granted. If it is not, existing schools may be asked to make room for children without spaces.

The Council hired an independent design panel to review the plans, which “recommended various improvements.”

These were then put to the developers behind the project, most recently in May, who refused to make any changes.

Cllr Dombey said: “We understand and support the need for a new school and see that the proposed location is the best that can be found.”

“I think it’s a shame they’ve just come up with a four-storey block, with no character.

“The experts have said they could do better, so they should try harder.

“We oppose the school in its current form.”

 

 

Source: Sutton and Croydon Guardian

 

 

 

Triton Construction has secured a contract worth £2 million to build a new extension at Penistone Grammar School in Barnsley.

The overall investment by the local authority was for a two-phase project:

  1. Internal re-modelling that was completed in October 2018 to enable an additional 50 year 7 students to be accommodated in the 2018/19 academic year and as part of the long-term plan to accommodate a further 50 students year on year.
  2. A new two storey extension building linked by a walkway to the main school which will include six new classrooms, two science labs, toilets, staff work spaces and new IT offices. It will facilitate demand for places as part of the long-term plan allowing an additional intake of 50 new students per year, over five years (250 in total), taking the total number of aged 11 – 16 students to 1,600.

Councillor Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said:

“The investment the council has made in this project meets our Town Spirit ethos – Achieve it, and reinforces our commitment to provide the right quantity and the very best quality of school places to help every child achieve their potential.

“The additional places at Penistone Grammar will be a huge benefit to the borough and will add much-needed resource to a well-performing school.”

Paul Crook, Principal at Penistone Grammar said,

“We are pleased to be working with the team at Triton to deliver a fantastic new, state of the art facility for our students and staff.  This represents a very exciting time for the school. The school is really going from strength to strength.

“Triton have worked closely with the school to ensure there is minimal disruption to our students learning. In fact, the project will add value to the learning experiences of our young people, specifically those studying technology-based subjects who will engage with Triton for a first-hand experience.”

Triton is working alongside AA Projects as Project Manager, Principal Designer and Quantity Surveyor on the project.  It has already started preparation works on site and will be working within a live environment for approximately 44 weeks until the project completes in Spring 2020.

Ian Chapman Construction Director at Triton Construction said,

“We are pleased to secure this contract and assist the expansion of Penistone Grammar which is evidently a high-performing school.

“The project is interesting due to its conservation requirements and we will be moving two pieces of stonework that were the gateposts to the original school in 1392 to the front of the building.  A stone bath from the original workhouse will also be moved into the centre of Penistone Grammar School for heritage purposes and we need to be mindful of trees on the estate which are under preservation orders and will be planting more as part of the associated landscaping. The new building will also have a Sedum roof to bring a whole host of benefits to the building and the local environment.”

Triton Construction has extensive experience in all areas of the education sector with ongoing new build school projects in Wakefield & Bolton. Recent project completions including a new library and further refurbishments for Leeds College of Music, a £2.3 million High Needs Vocational Centre for Shipley College, a £3.5 million science block and state of the art learning link for Bradford Grammar School and a £4 million transformation of a derelict building to house Norfolk Park Special School in Sheffield.

Source: FE News

How innovative learning environment has a positive impact on the students and teachers. It not only inspires but also helps in building and strengthening human connections

Designing schools within a community has an immense impact on how communities grow and are represented. Their design is very important to society and its future. Paul Stevens, senior principal, Canada office and Maryam Nademi, project manager, Dubai office from ZAS Group of Companies on the importance of design in the education sector with references drawn from their projects. ZAS is one of Canada’s leading designers of architecture, interior space, and sustainable urban places. The firm has its offices in North America and CIS and is operating in the Gulf region since 2004. ZAS has designed over 400 education facilities. Paul Stevens and Maryam Nademi from ZAS take us through the critical design aspects of educational buildings.

 

How are we bringing the change?
Vision and mission of the leadership in the GCC (UAE and KSA) is preparing future leaders in various fields of knowledge, enriching and developing intelligence, exploring innovative methodologies and technologies and breaking the barriers between academic and business society. ZAS is currently designing a college for visually impaired which is located in Khobar, Saudi Arabia — Prince Sultan College for the Visually Impaired (PSCVI) PSCVI, like Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University (PMU), honours the traditions and culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without compromising the state-of-the-art technological advancements and contemporary teaching practices. PSCVI will provide a world-class environment for its students and fulfill its mission to prepare and qualify the visually impaired through learning and training opportunities to be self-sufficient, integrate into the community workplace and to fulfill their aspirations in life.

The approach
Educational facilities have an aggressive schedule with an immovable end date for occupancy because owners cannot miss the opening date and beginning of the education season and they have to accommodate students at school at the beginning of the year. The greatest requirement of the education facility projects is the ability to plan, design, and construct a unique building under a short and inflexible timeline. We have to be collaborative, responsive and find as many ways as possible to speed up construction without compromising design. Various trades have to work in lockstep and collaboratively to make these happen.

Effective classroom designs
We all know how to build square classrooms and put tables and chairs into them and maybe even a data connection and a projector. But today’s education facilities require IT-rich rooms that aren’t used for conventional lecturing but for interactive problem solving by the students. An effective classroom is an “active learning classroom” and facilitates spontaneous interactions. Interactive environment that is not about regimented curriculum delivery but about group learning and problem-solving.

Open spaces
In a campus design, we see open/social spaces as an opportunity to create a gateway link to the entire campus. Open/social spaces could provide platforms to the education facility as an anchoring element. Classes can be located along with grade level and open up on to a multi-use courtyard that is also capable of being an outdoor classroom. Social spaces should be integrated throughout. In The Lassonde School of Engineering at York University, we have arrived at a design that put student productivity at the top of the agenda, with optimised spaces for learning, discovery and interaction. Areas such as “Design Commons” are described as “a gathering place for learning where students are encouraged to foster entrepreneurial ideas and prototype them,” and “dedicated entrepreneurial lounges/presentation rooms” where students can pitch their ideas to outside firms.

Design impacts learning and teaching
Good design creates a landscape for learning, a hub for entrepreneurship, collaboration, and creativity, the facility’s design should aim to advance education and provide a platform to educate the next generation: a creative problem solver and entrepreneurial leader with a social conscience. The imaginative space design should push the boundaries for an equally imaginative approach to teaching, one that will empower and cultivate a new breed of globally aware and socially conscious students/graduates.

 The undulating façade of Bergeron Centre is comprised of a series of triangles positioned according to a precise and complex algorithm

Common misconception
One common misconception is that the best spaces should belong to the faculty. In Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, York University, we flipped the building, giving the best spaces to students. Faculty offices are located in the centre of the building and social spaces, labs, and classrooms along outside walls to maximise natural light and provide inspiring views. This approach not only keeps students focussed, alert and happy, but it also encourages professors to go outside their offices and interact with students.

Green schools
The topic of “Green schools” is increasing in importance, driven by greater public environmental awareness and rising energy and operation costs. ZAS has been commissioned to provide a green schools resource guide, a practical manual for planning and building green schools in Ontario. The development of this manual was initiated by the Ontario Association of School Boards Officials’ Effectiveness and Efficiency Committee, and funded by the Ministry of Education. The committee identified several key issues regarding “Green Schools” that were of concern to its member; Increased information sharing among Ontario School Boards on Green School best practices and benchmarks would be a positive development; Pooling resources to commission an Ontario Green School manual would be the most effective way to bring best practices and benchmark information to all boards. To address these concerns the committee commissioned ZAS Architects and Halsall Associates to complete a manual that would disseminate (in some cases, hard-won) lessons learned by Ontario and other School Boards.

ZAS’ note-worthy projects in the region
We have designed a British curriculum school in Abu Dhabi, an American curriculum school in Sharjah, both elementary and secondary school prototypes for the ministry of education in Saudi Arabia. We have also designed Quranic schools in KSA and two of the largest university campuses in Libya. Currently, we are designing two education facility projects in the Middle East— Prince Sultan College for the Visually Impaired (PSCVI), Saudi Arabia and RIT campus in Dubai.

 

Source: Design Middle East

 

 

 

The plans will be discussed at an executive board meeting among council chiefs next week.

 

Plans are set to be approved to spend more than £10m on the expansion of two schools in Leeds.

 

St. Luke’s C of E Primary School in Beeston, and Horsforth Secondary School are both looking to increase the number of pupils.

 

Capacity of St Luke’s is set to increase from 315 to 420 pupils – including an eight place Resource Provision for children with Autism – while Horsforth could see their capacity rise from 1125 to 1425 students.

 

Leeds City Council documents say the plans are necessary to facilitate the 2020/21 academic year intake of pupils, in order to fulfil the Local Authority’s statutory responsibility to provide sufficient school places.

 

The estimated cost for St Luke’s is £4,295,000, but a review ‘is underway to identify any possible savings prior to entering into a construction contract’.

 

For Horsforth, the funding provided by the government for this size of expansion is £4.8m. The estimated costs of the proposed scheme, at feasibility stage, is £5.1m but subject to further detailed design work.

 

The proposals have been brought forward in order to meet projected demand for primary and secondary school places within the areas.

 

Source: Leedslive

A new primary school with just 19 pupils on its roll is set to see the number of children going there increase for its second year.

Henhurst Ridge Primary School, in Henhurst Ridge, near Tatenhill, only opened in October and has now released a series of photographs showing what the £5 million building looks like inside.

It was built to cope with the increase in population as part of a 2,000-home development Branston Locks.

The school was due to open to pupils in September 2018, but this was delayed after thieves ransacked the building stealing copper piping.

It resulted in the first intake of 19 children beginning the term at the nearby Scientia Academy, before moving to the new school after repairs had been made.

Before the children broke up for their summer holidays, the school held a ceremony to officially open the premises – which will welcome a reception class with 26 new children, joining the current reception class of who will move up to Year 1 in September.

Year 2 will have 22 pupils for the start of the new term

The school is also introducing a nursery, and will have four new members of staff.

Head teacher Charlotte Hopkins said: “The inaugural year has been very special.  “As the school is so small it has meant getting to know the children and their families really well and there have been many great events that have brought us together as a community.

“The local community have also played a part in the success of our inaugural year by attending our Christmas performance, first Eco Market and a special concert that 5 in Harmony [of Swad Song fame] performed at.

“The year has whizzed by and we are all now looking forward to welcoming our new children, families and staff in September as we pledge to give the children in our care ‘the roots to grow and the wings to fly’.”

During the opening ceremony, children performed a poem about the school values to the 100-plus audience.

The primary school is part of the REAch2 Academy Trust.

There were speeches from REAch2’s CEO, Sir Steve Lancashire; REAch2’s Deputy CEO, Cathie Painel; and REAch2’s Chief Operating Officer, Katherine Alexander then officially opened the school by cutting the ribbon and unveiling a special plaque.

Councillor Philip White, cabinet member for learning and employability at Staffordshire County Council, then helped the children bury a time capsule with the children’s hopes and wishes for the future in and plant the first tree of the school’s orchard.

Councillor White said: “The new school at Henhurst is just one part of delivering our ongoing plan to ensure there are enough school places in Burton to cope with growing demand in the area.

“It was fantastic to attend the opening and see the how proud the children are of their new school.

“It was great to see how confident and outgoing they are, and how well they have come together in their first year at primary school.

“I was also really pleased to see so many parents there too – clearly the school is fast becoming a true community school.”

At the time of the opening ceremony, there were 19 children on roll and seven staff (including two midday supervisors).

Next academic year, the school will grow by one more year group; 26 children joining in reception and the school is opening a Nursery for three- year-olds and above.

Four more staff will be joining the team – one new teacher and teaching assistant for the reception class; one teaching assistant in nursery and one in Year 1. The Year 1 class will also increase to 22.

The school has the capacity to grow to 420. It is being built in response to the number of new homes being put up in the area.

Henhurst Ridge has joined the same multi-academy trust as Scientia Academy in Horninglow – Reach2, which is the largest primary-only academy trust in England, with 55 under its supervision.

Academy schools are independent of local authority control and receive their funding directly from the government.

 

Source: Derbyshire Live

Willmott Dixon has been appointed main contractor for the construction of a new medical research centre at the University of Warwick.

 

The Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) on the University of Warwick’s Gibbert Hill campus will bring together up to 300 biomedical researchers from across the School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School.

 

The £54m building, designed by Hawkins Brown Architects, will have a 400-seat lecture theatre as well as various social and collaboration spaces in which to train future generations of biomedical researchers.

 

Willmott Dixon, as main contractor, is expected to complete by the end of 2020. It saw off competition from Graham, Kier and Morgan Sindall, who were also shortlisted for the job.

 

The client’s team also includes building services engineer Hoare Lea & Partners, structural engineer Peter Brett Associates and Mace as quantity surveyor.

 

Source: The Construction Index

 

A look at the shocking truth of the lack of female workers in construction and what parents, teachers and the industry itself can be doing to change this

Exam season has arrived and for many 15-year-old girls, it means feeling the pressure of deciding what career path they want to follow. For many of them though, a career within the construction industry is probably not at their top of the list. CITB data shows that the appeal of a career within the construction industry among young people is low, scoring 4.2 out of 10 among 14 to 19-year-olds.

Setting foundations for the future is something every parent hopes to do for their child and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning is a huge part of this. STEM learning allows children to grasp fundamental concepts about the natural world from a young age, which will lay the groundwork and possibility for deeper learning later on in their education.

This concept doesn’t have to be limited to the classroom either, parents can support and aid early STEM learning outside of the classroom.

Women in engineering and construction

Historically, it has been conventionalised that the engineering and construction sector has been male-dominated. Despite the engineering industry being one of the fastest growing in the UK, women still only make up a small proportion of the workforce.

However, in recent years there has been a lot of attention being paid to making these sectors more diverse, to make it more acceptable for women to be a part of them; whether that be a craft or technical roles as well as managerial roles.

Having said that, there are still a number of issues which are affecting the retention and progression of aspiring female leaders. From receiving inappropriate comments and being overlooked for important projects, to a lack of senior female role models, many women within construction are allowing factors such as these to impact their career decisions.

There are many benefits to having a diverse workforce, including increased productivity and creativity and even boosting a brand’s reputation. By 2020, it is predicted that 26% of positions in the industry are expected to be filled by women.

How can we encourage girls to consider construction?

It is no secret that females aren’t opting for careers in the construction industry at a rate that has been hoped for, and especially not within roles where workers are desperately needed. It is important to encourage the next generation of workers to consider choosing a career in construction – not only to create a more diverse sector but because the industry is facing a problematic skills shortage. With an ageing workforce and a lack of interest from young people, the construction industry looks certain to face a skills crisis in the next decade.

Set them up for success

Whether your daughter wants to be a teacher or a structural engineer, there are ways you can support her in her early years; teaching your daughter fundamental skills early on in their education will encourage enthusiasm. This will allow them to succeed in further education in relevant subjects as well as follow relevant steps in pursuing a STEM career path.

Don’t force it – make them aware of options

Think outside of the box – children are easily influenced and there are many factors that mould them into the person they will be in the future. By opening their eyes to stuff they won’t tend to experience on a day-to-day basis, they will have a broader mindset and begin to make their own decisions. Encouraging hobbies and extracurricular activities that are related to construction such as small jobs around the house will spark natural curiosity. Even aspects such as TV shows and children’s toys are much more diverse – Barbie even comes as a builder now.

For many children, it is their upbringing and early experiences that influence who and what they want to become – so by opening their eyes to further opportunities, hopefully meeting demand in engineering and construction roles and careers can be done.

Break the stigma

It is possible that young girls – and women alike – might find the work environment within this sector intimidating due to its notoriously bad reputation. This bad rep has had a detrimental impact on businesses’ ability to recruit and retain people with the correct skills, meaning 1 in 5 roles are left unfilled.

With that being said, the roles available today aren’t just about hard hats and dirt – technology has allowed for a lot more opportunity. Construction is rapidly evolving and by bringing awareness of the industry’s diverse opportunities to girls through community involvement and education, young women can be encouraged to pursue a career and be a part of something innovative and rewarding.

Promote career diversity and the roles available

There are many different career options available, with plenty of them offering progression. From quantity surveyors to site managers and electricians there are many options available. Making young girls aware of the benefits and opportunities within these roles is priceless. What’s more, having something – or someone – to aspire to is often all that’s needed to inspire change and initiate action.

As it stands, UK construction companies need to spend more time ensuring positive messages are sent out and get better at celebrating and drawing attention to the achievements of women and the exciting things they are doing within the industry. It is important to take advantage of the digital world – social media channels and blogs are a great way to provide coverage and creates awareness about the work of existing females and the kind of opportunities that are on offer.

 

Source: Open Access