The Construction Youth Trust traces its origins back to 1961, when it was formed by members of the construction industry and allied professions to build educational centres to teach construction skills. Since then, the Trust has continued to support young people with a passion for construction through education, practical work-experience and employment-brokerage. The Trust’s programmes continue to expand and diversify, and now include the provision of individual bursaries for construction-skills courses, work-placement schemes and careers-guidance sessions.
The Duke of Gloucester is the Patron of the Trust and Andy Wates, of Wates Construction Group, is Chairman of the Trustees. He took over in the spring of 2014 from Pavior Rod Bennion, who acted as Chairman of the Trust for 12 years. Paviors Liveryman Christine Townley is Executive Director of the Trust, and is a Chartered Engineer by profession.
The Paviors’ Budding Brunels Plus programme has been sponsored by the Company for a number of years and is carried out in conjunction with the Trust. Education represents an important part of the Company’s charitable-giving by providing support for the future generations and, especially, those who are hard-to-reach in the underprivileged City fringes.
Working with four schools in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, students are encouraged to pursue a career in civil and structural engineering, or the wider built environment. The four schools engaged in the programme are Cambridge Heath Sixth Form, Morpeth, Oaklands and Swanlea. Events are organized that are relevant to the students ages, and these include taster days, site visits, assembly presentations, workshops and attending school careers fairs.
The main focus of the Budding Brunels Plus falls on the Year-12 ‘AS’ level students attending Cambridge Heath. The sixth form is based at the Wessex Centre in Bethnal Green and was established in 2009 to provide high quality post-16 year old education with a wide variety of courses. Of the 660 students, some 40 per cent are female and 92 per cent are from black, Asian or minority ethnic background. A scholar’s programme includes STEAM (science, technology, engineering, architecture and mathematics). There are two main elements that form this part of the programme. The first part involves a three-day course with industry networking or presentations, site tours, work shadowing, mock interviews, advice about career opportunities and suitable higher education courses. Finally, and probably the most influential part from the students point of view, is the work-placements opportunities. These are provided for a number of pupils, normally during a half-term break, and give them vital first-hand exposure to our industry. All this is only possible because of the excellent support provided by and participation in the programme from Pavior-members’ companies.
The project also benefits from Open College Network accreditation for the participating students.
A celebration event is organized for all involved that provides an opportunity for further networking for the students. The Master presents certificates to those pupils who have completed all elements of the programme.
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