With funding from John Connaughton and AG Manly, construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall has thrown open the doors of its Colmore Row site to provide 25 students with a three day construction workshop, as they explore careers in the sector.
Working with Construction Youth Trust - a charity which helps young people in England and Wales into careers in construction - the group from Aston University Academy of Engineering and South & City College Birmingham have spent three days in the city on a discovery mission exploring all aspects of the construction sector providing a detailed understanding the range of roles available in the sector, Construction Youth Trust's Budding Brunels programme.
The group visited the site of 55 Colmore Row where Morgan Sindall is delivering a £30 million redevelopment for IM Properties which is transforming the building into 160,000 sq ft of Grade A office space in the heart of the city.
On day one, the students, in four teams of five members, were assigned roles and guided around the development by a team of graduates from the contractor's project delivery teams.
Then, over the following two days, the newly appointed architects, project managers, quantity surveyors and structural engineers applied what they had learned to an imaginary brief to deliver a new building on the site of 55 Colmore Row.
Drawing on their new knowledge of the roles, the students first prepared and then explained their proposals to an interview panel of sector experts.
Tom Glover from Construction Youth Trust explained the principles driving the programme. He said: "The sessions during the three days are structured to explore the range of roles careers in the construction sector provide. What we find, time and again, is that students automatically assume that working in construction or engineering is all about physical labour. We want to open their eyes to the richness of possibilities the construction sector can provide.
"Careers are as diverse as they are rewarding and we know those who engage are enormously enthused by the whole experience."
Dave Kelly, Morgan Sindall's framework manager added: "The skills shortage facing UK construction companies is well publicised and as a business we take our responsibility seriously when it comes to highlighting the opportunities available. We do everything we can to provide real, meaningful opportunities for young men and women who want a career in construction.
"As signatories to the Birmingham Business Charter, we were only too happy to engage with Construction Youth Trust and their fantastic programme."
Construction Youth Trust will continue to work with the construction industry throughout the UK to further build upon the industry-led approach to filling future skills shortages through awareness raising workshops.