Last weekend saw over 5,500 of the UK’s young people visiting local construction projects as part of the UK Contractors Group’s (UKCG) Open Doors weekend. This is the third annual event to be held, and to date, the most successful with an additional 1,500 young delegates booking their place for this year’s event compared to 2013.
The event which took place on 6-7 March, has been developed by UKCG and is supported by a large number of UK contractors and industry stakeholders such as the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). In addition, this year’s event was also supported by the Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan who visited a site in her constituency of Loughborough.
The aim of the Open Doors weekend is to give young people the opportunity to explore the exciting career opportunities available to them in the construction industry. As well having the opportunity to go behind the scenes of some of the nation’s most iconic construction projects, including Crossrail and The Forth Bridge Replacement Crossing in Scotland, delegates have also been able to meet some of the professionals responsible for delivering them.
The event also aims to give young people the chance to explore the wide range of construction careers available to them. This includes getting glimpses of traditional roles such as bricklaying and quantity surveying, and also lesser known roles like site health and safety management, environmental management and interior design.
Stephen Ratcliffe, UKCG Director said:
“Open Doors 2015 has been a resounding success and will have certainly gone some way in inspiring the nation’s youngsters to think about construction and the rewarding career opportunities it can provide. We hope to partner with the UK’s contractors and wider stakeholders again next year to give even more young people a behind the scenes tour of their local sites.
“The Open Doors activity is now in its third year and has had a record breaking number of youngsters sign up for visits – with over 5,500 places being taken up overall. With the continued support of the wider industry, we hope to make next year’s event even bigger and better – this going some way in future proofing the industry from a potential skills shortage.”
Andy Walder, Education, Training and Skills Development Director at CITB, said:
“The opening of construction sites across the UK has proved to be a real hit with young people and their parents. As an organisation responsible for training the workforce of tomorrow, we see the real value in showing rather than simply telling young people about the rewarding opportunities on offer in the industry. Knowing that this year has been a record breaking year in terms of sign-ups is really positive news as it means that as an industry we are engaging and potentially encouraging even more young people to pursue a career in construction.”