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Construction Youth Trust
As part of the Year 12 curriculum, every week Highbury Fields invites professionals to enrich the learning of our bright young women. Visits from professionals provide an insight into the working world and the opportunities that await us. One career path, which is rarely explored, is women working in the construction industry. Typically women crawl cautiously into construction, unaware of the variety of work that this industry offers. A common misconception is that construction is an industry dominated by men with hard hats and dirty trousers, but not all construction involves physically working with tools.
Five of us lucky Year 12s successfully applied to join the Construction Youth Trust program, for a three-day crash course into construction, and what an experience! The course centred around the Central London redevelopment of King’s Cross. An area previously renowned for crime has now become a bustling tech hub, housing the likes of Samsung, Google and Sony. Throughout the course we had the opportunity to meet and interact with professionals from highly regarded organisations like BAM Construction and Argent. We worked in teams to bid for a £60 million tender for a building that we would theoretically erect, if we were contractors and clients.
The programme entailed pitching to industry professionals, exploring redevelopment and taking on responsibilities such as Project Manager, Quantity Surveyor, Structural Engineer and Sustainability Researcher. We all became well informed about the careers that “construction” houses, truly opening our eyes.The experience also gave us the mesmerising opportunity of visiting a fully operating work site, a site that in 2021 will be the new Facebook headquarters. How incredible is it to say that we were standing in the shell of a potentially revolutionary and iconic business building?
Ultimately, the experience gave us all more confidence in a working environment, more knowledge and enthusiasm about construction and we developed vital teamwork skills. This experience is one that we would never replace or turn down. Taking a leap provides opportunities and some of us have also applied for the opportunity to further our construction experience through a week’s work experience in February half term. We can’t contain our excitement!
Please, as young women, become the change that our future needs. Fully embrace opportunities, even if, at first, just like us, you are apprehensive. You and the world will never know what you are missing out on, if you don’t take a step.