Tunnelling into the World of Construction – Year 12 Students visit Crossrail with VINCI Construction UK Ltd

Year 12 students across in East London have been given first-hand insight into careers in construction thanks to Construction Youth Trust and VINCI Construction UK Ltd.

‘Budding Brunels’ is an OCN accredited 3-day schools engagement programme aimed at engaging and informing young students who are exploring their higher education options and considering career paths. 

On Monday 5th March students met personnel from VINCI Construction UK at the University of East London, Docklands Campus, for an interactive day of seminars and Q&A sessions that introduced the industry and discuss the wide variety of careers that construction has to offer. 

Tuesday saw the group take part in a site visit to the Connaught Tunnel, a £35 million refurbishment contract on the Crossrail project, and on Wednesday the students visited RIBA exhibitions in Portland Place followed by one-to-one sessions at Construction Youth Trust’s base, The Building Centre. 

The final day culminated in students being interviewed by VINCI Construction’s HR team for the opportunity to gain one of four work placements available during the school break. 

30 students from East London benefitted from the sessions came from Leyton 6th Form, BSix College and Shooters Hill Post-16, but the programme is the first in a series of eight Budding Brunels planned for 2012 between VINCI Construction UK and the Trust, with plans already in place for sessions in Cardiff, Streatham and Nottingham. 

Ben Churchill, Schools & FE Coordinator at Construction Youth Trust said: 

“With the Budding Brunels programme we are targeting bright Year 12 students from ethnically diverse and / or disadvantaged backgrounds who are studying STEM subjects. 

“We want to see these young people benefit from industry-led careers guidance and show them just how varied the progression routes into the sector can be. 

“The programme aims to increases participants’ chances of achieving social mobility and to help them to make the right choices at a key point in their academic and personal development.” 

Budding Brunels has been cited as a solid example of good practice in the recent Equality and Human Rights Commission report on BME representation within the construction industry and is endorsed by the Construction Industry Council. 

Colin Jellicoe, Human Resources Director of VINCI Construction UK Ltd commented: 

“Partnering with Construction Youth Trust in the Budding Brunels initiative will create a unique learning opportunity focused on educating young people to enable them to pursue and develop careers within the Construction Industry, and is an initiative we are keen to pursue in all areas of our business in the future.