Building Futures: Career insights in the highway industry

VolkerHighways has once again opened its doors to the next generation of constructors as part of Build UK’s Open Doors initiative, last week. The business invited students to two of their depot/offices to educate secondary school aged pupils about the endless career possibilities available within the sector and routes into the industry.

Open Doors

Hoddesdon, Head Office

At our Head Office in Hertfordshire, 12 students from all girls’ Secondary School, Presdales School, engaged in an interactive careers workshop where they dived into the diverse career paths represented by various specialists from across VolkerHighways and VolkerFitzpatrick.

From a 3D/4D Visualiser to an Electrician, Project Manager and Procurement Assistant and everything in between. The students engaged in roundtable discussions to learn about each of the roles, how they can enter the construction industry and to ask some thought-provoking questions, showcasing the exciting journeys awaiting our future leaders.

Commenting on the day, Cheryl Latreille, Social Value Advisor, said: “With the construction industry being a predominately male industry, it was fantastic to welcome a group of young ladies who are studying STEM subjects at school. Students expressed their interest in becoming a Civil Engineer and Architect, while another was interested in bid writing. We are looking forward to continuing to engage with Presdales and hopefully invite one or two back for work experience.”

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Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Meanwhile, in Oxfordshire, 10 students aged 15 to 18 from University Technical College (UTC) Oxfordshire visited our Abingdon depot. They met with representatives from our Oxfordshire street lighting contract, including a Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor, and traffic management specialists.

After a short presentation, the students explored various roles by undertaking practical activities. These included wiring a street lighting column, critical path analysis and learning how to set-up temporary traffic lights. The students also had the opportunity to tour the depot to see first-hand the equipment, machinery and technology used in our operations.

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Speaking after the event, John Dovey, Project Manager, said: “Experiences such as Open Doors is instrumental in helping young adults grasp the practical applications of STEM subjects and inspire future career paths. Many of the students had an interest in the roles we demonstrated and were asking about apprenticeships.”

Alongside Open Doors, our contracts continue to regularly engage with local schools and colleges. Since the beginning of the year, VolkerHighways has participated in City of Rochester School’s careers fair, engaged in Learning to Work events in Windsor and Skills for Life Day at Swakeley Girls’ School. We also held an assembly as part of National Apprenticeship Week and participated in a careers workshop at Presdales School, to name just a few activities.