Three VGC Group senior directors – managing director Laurence Mckidd, group services director Ciara Pryce and HR manager Laura Perry – have volunteered to join the charity’s local advisory boards, partnering with seven schools and one sixth form college in the London boroughs of Brent, Camden and Westminster.
To prepare students for the world of work all partner schools will benefit from bespoke construction related employability workshops, delivered by VGC Group’s skills and employment adviser, Kimberley McGinty.
In addition, two students will have the opportunity to undertake a four-week internship at VGC Group’s head office next summer.
Laurence Mckidd, managing director of VGC Group, believes the new partnership will complement the company’s existing schools engagement programme while helping to showcase the many rewarding career paths within the industry.
He said: “The construction industry is facing a skills shortage as not enough young people are taking up careers in the sector.
“I hope that our involvement with the charity’s local advisory boards will provide an even greater opportunity to showcase the industry’s vast array of career opportunities to the next generation. And I’m sure our new partnership will prove to be a very worthwhile and fulfilling journey.”
Recent research has highlighted that the overall appeal of the construction industry as a career option for young people is low, due to a perception that it is ‘male oriented, muddy and manual’ and most suited to ‘young people who do not get into college or university.’
Swati Patel, corporate social responsibility manager at VGC Group hopes the company’s new partnership will help to change attitudes amongst the younger generation. She said: “We know that one of the best ways to communicate with young people is by engaging with school careers advisors and teachers. We believe that our school engagement programme and partnerships with pivotal partners like Career Ready will enable us to promote the opportunities and earning potential a career in construction can provide.”
The newly formed partnership will also guarantee that all partner schools adhere to four of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks – a framework used by schools to ensure appropriate careers provision is included in their curriculum.
Anne Spackman, CEO at Career Ready, added: “Regular contact with employers can open a young person’s eyes to the range of careers available and the skills and attitude needed to get started.”