Last edited 02 May 2017

Budding Brunels Rail project

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On 26 April 2017, Designing Buildings Wiki attended a Construction Youth Trust (CYT) event celebrating the end of their successful ‘Budding Brunels Rail’ project.

Members of the construction and rail industries, teachers and students gathered at the event held amongst the vintage double-deckers and tram cars of the London Transport Museum.

The school engagement programme was developed by the CYT to inform and inspire young people aged 16-19 to consider careers in the construction and rail industries; supporting the Trust’s focus on building a more diverse workforce.

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Each 3-day workshop was supported by construction professionals who helped inform students through practical activities and visits to live construction sites. The workshops also included a range of activities such as bridge building and stakeholder engagement during which the students experienced different roles within the railway industry.

Giving the students the opportunity to work directly with volunteers from the industry provided them with valuable role models, eye-opening experiences and invaluable information, better equipping them to make more informed decisions about their future careers.

The celebration event marked the end of the four year project and brought together the students, teachers and volunteers involved. As well as hearing from project partners, guests could get involved in activities delivered on the course.

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244 students from 34 London Schools participated on the 14 courses.

In an attempt to respond to the skills and diversity gap that exists across the industry, 25% of the students were female, and 69% were from a BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) background.

CYT worked with London South Bank University to analyse the social value of the programme, finding that for every £1 invested by the funder, the average value to society was £3.75.

The students were also evaluated for a number of skills and areas of knowledge both before and after the workshops. They registered an increase in:

  • Perceived knowledge of construction.
  • Improved employability skills.
  • Confidence in team working.
  • Confidence in presentations.
  • Confidence in interviews.
  • A wider appreciation of the variety of careers within the build environment.

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Carol Lynch, CEO at Construction Youth Trust said, (TBC):

“It has been fantastic to see the success of the rail and construction industry coming together with local communities to inspire the next generation of young people who will build Britain’s future. It is clear that the students have enjoyed the experience and now have a greater understanding the wonderful career opportunities available to them in today’s built environment sector.”

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