Teenagers from across the East of England are experiencing the world of construction virtually as part of a special digital programme being pioneered by Morgan Sindall Construction.
Over 30 Year 10 and Year 12 students from 16 schools across the East were due to take part in work experience placements with the leading UK contractor this term, but social distancing meant that plans had to be cancelled.
Determined to ensure that the students were still able to gain a taste of the industry and secure some valuable work experience, Morgan Sindall Construction’s team in the East has launched a brand new digital work experience programme.
Pioneered by Helen Clements, Morgan Sindall Construction’s community investment advisor in the region, the week-long Virtual Work Experience initiative will see students log in using Google Classroom and take part in a number of digital challenges and tasks, before presenting a final project to an expert panel including Morgan Sindall Construction’s senior team.
Created in collaboration with Speakers for Schools, the programme will see students work together to design a building. They will be supported by experts from Morgan Sindall Construction’s team and volunteers from the built environment including Concertus, MCW Architects and Superstructure, who will be on hand to provide expert guidance and support the students with relevant elements of their project.
Helen Clements said: “Morgan Sindall Construction is absolutely passionate about engaging with young people through work experience and we have a huge range of engagement programmes running across the country throughout the year to connect with young people looking to explore the sector. This group was devastated when they learned that they would no longer be able to take part in our normal on-site work experience programme and we were determined to find a way to make sure they didn’t miss out.
“Our team and partners have worked really hard to create this new online experience, which we hope will really challenge, engage, and inspire students and offer them truly valuable experience and the chance to get a taste of what the construction industry is all about.
“It’s more important than ever that industry is doing whatever it takes to reach out to young people and offer them the opportunity to learn more about key sectors. Work experience plays such an important role in giving young people the chance to develop new skills and gain real world insight and experience which will improve their employability and enhance their career prospects in the longer term.
“Our programme will call on a number of skills, including maths, digital design, science, English, and art, and will also require students to work collaboratively with their colleagues during the week. We’re over the moon to be able to offer students this opportunity and we can’t wait to see the final building designs they come up with over the week!”
Jason Elsom, CEO, Speakers for Schools, said: “We are thrilled to be working with industry leaders Morgan Sindall to deliver amazing work experience opportunities to young people, through our pioneering Virtual Work Experience (VWEX) Programme. Much credit is due to organisations, which continue to put our next generation ahead of profit during these most challenging of times.”
Robert Peston, founder of Speakers for Schools, said: “In this time of national emergency, we must not forget that our young people must prepare for the challenging world that awaits them. What we are living through will change everything, so more than ever school students would benefit from the wisdom of Speakers for Schools’ inspirational speakers and from experiencing real places of work. Which is why Speakers for Schools is creating a new digital service, to deliver brilliant talks and fulfilling work experience to students’ smartphones and laptops. For all of us, life and work must go on, even if in a socially distanced way.”