Over 120 Edinburgh school kids to attend construction events

OVER 120 Edinburgh school pupils are set to attend two upcoming construction events as part of the Scottish Careers Week.

The events, at Royston Wardieburn Community Centre (November 9) and Gate 55 Community Centre (November 10), will be attended by a number of invited local schools.

Firms involved in the City of Edinburgh Council’s regeneration of Wester Hailes and North Edinburgh are to deliver a ‘wide array’ of inspirational talks, practical hands-on skills demonstrations, and will also showcase the use of technology and net zero principles.

During the pandemic, the City of Edinburgh Council, in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce, offered the Build Your Future programme which looks to promote the full range of diverse careers within construction to young people in four secondary schools in the city.

Following this successful pilot, a number of the local authority’s construction-related contractors now have partnerships in place with every secondary school and five special schools and will be offering Build Your Future this academic year.

The council said the school partnerships are being set up to address the skills shortages in the construction industry within both traditional construction trades and professional and back-office roles. It also aims to encourage a more ‘diverse and inclusive’ workforce by starting to work closely with pupils from S1 to provide insights into construction.

Furthermore, the council added that it has focused on maximising the benefits which can be achieved from community benefit clauses in supplier contracts to create the capacity to deliver these partnerships and events to the benefit of young people and their communities.

Cammy Day, leader of the City of Edinburgh Council Leader, said, “Edinburgh really is leading the way by putting on these construction festivals as they are highlighting in tangible ways the range of diverse careers that are open to young people within construction industry. Both these festivals, and the Skills Academy we launched back in May, show our partnership approach to supporting our young people in providing them with the skills and experience to secure employment. Thanks must go to the various teams at the Council, who have made all these enterprises possible.

“There’s been substantial financial investment in these regeneration programmes by both the council and its partners and they are a fantastic example of the public and private sector working together to strengthen the communities they are working in.”

James Russell, Skills Development Scotland’s director of career information advice guidance operations, added, “We’re delighted to be officially launching our new Virtual Reality My World of Work Live construction activity in partnership with Balfour Beatty at the Construction Careers and Skills Festival. It comes at a fantastic time as we celebrate Scottish Careers Week and events like this are a great example of how young people are experiencing the world of work and learning about the opportunities available to them in exciting ways.

“Through using the new experiential VR system and flying drones as part of our My World of Work Live Drones in Construction activity, pupils will have the chance to learn about and develop the skills that they’ll need for the future, no matter what sector they choose to work in.”

Emma Duncan, programme delivery manager for Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), said, “DYW are delighted to be supporting both the North Edinburgh and Wester Hailes Construction Festivals. The festivals will have a great impact inspiring young people, as well as showcasing the range of routes and pathways into a career in the industry.” 

Scott Miller, chairman of the National Federation Roofing Contractors Scotland, commented, “NFRC is delighted to continue to work with The City of Edinburgh Council to promote construction as a career of choice to young people in the city. It is imperative that we promote the diversity of roles within the industry to help young people make informed choices about their future careers. NFRC is looking forward to continuing to work with the council to raise awareness of the potential careers within the sector to young people in Edinburgh.”