Jackson recently teamed up with Birmingham City Council and alternative training provider Engineered Learning to deliver a construction taster day for a group of young people.
The ‘Build Your Future’ initiative aims to give youngsters an insight into what it’s like to work in construction, in a bid to address the skills shortage currently facing the industry.
Jackson’s Chief Executive, Richard Neall, said: “Construction is on the up, and the industry needs 45,000 new starters every year, just to keep ticking over. With high profile projects like HS2 and the nuclear new build programme due to start over the next five years, that number is only going to increase, so it’s really important we attract the brightest and best to come and work for us.”
“The message we wanted to convey was that you don’t have to train to be an engineer, a plumber or an electrician. Our industry offers a huge variety of job opportunities for all ages, experiences and roles”
Six youngsters took part in the day which was held on an Environment Agency site in Leicester. The group took part in several have-a-go workshops in welding, setting out and bricklaying, and the team also produced a suite of careers videos for the youngsters, which highlight the huge variety of career paths available in construction.
Ronnie Slack, one of the attendees said: “The day was really good and it’s made me realise I definitely want to work in construction. Bricklaying was my favourite workshop - I’ve always wanted to have a go and it’s not as easy as it looks. I like to be outdoors so if I can be working outside and learn a trade at the same time, its a bonus.”
Feedback from the group at the end of the day was really positive, and five out of six said they wanted to pursue a career in construction. The site team is now working with Birmingham City Council to organise further work experience placements for the youngsters.
Shilpi Akbar, Assistant Director for Employment, Birmingham City Council said: “We targeted care leavers for this fantastic work experience opportunity with Jackson. Core Assets Children’s Services were instrumental in providing intensive support to help this group of young people access the industry day. The have-a-go sessions which were linked to construction and the built environment are key to promoting and inspiring young people to develop skills and careers in growth sectors vital to the growing Birmingham and regional economy. Feedback from the young people was fabulous – those that attended have been totally inspired and enthused by Jackson and Engineered Learning. We have already booked them onto CSCS courses and are in talks with other companies to offer further insight and work experience days as an effective way of preparing young people for apprenticeships, jobs or a place in full time education.”
Special thanks go to Jackson's sister company Emmitt Plant for supplying the machinery for the event, and also to Engineered Learning for supporting with the welding workshop.