Rail experience boosts pupils’ enthusiasm

Case Study OneA group of Year 10 school pupils left a fortnight’s work experience at Costain’s London rail contracts “inspired” by the staff they had met, said the event’s organiser.

The youngsters came from St Augustine’s CE High School, Kilburn. The school was involved in a Business in the Community Big Conversation event last autumn, at which Chief Executive, Andrew Wyllie, offered work experience sessions to those interested in considering opportunities in the sector.

Eighteen 14 and 15-year-olds took part in the fortnight-long session, said Sustainability and Emerging Talent Manager Indy Lachhar, who added that the packed timetable involved much more than simply job shadowing Costain personnel.

Following induction, a briefing on Costain and our industry, plus sessions educating the pupils on workplace behaviour and interpersonal communication, they were split into two groups for a series of sessions at three contracts over five days.

Indy said: “We rotated them around the various disciplines, such as quantity surveying, civil engineering and planning. During their visit to Crossrail headquarters at Canary Wharf, they were given a project to design a city metro railway line on a fictitious city map and present their reasoning for their design and decisions.

“They then came back to Paddington for classroom-based training. We gave them hints and tips on how to write CVs, while an external consultant gave them help with core employability skills.”

Their final day saw the students giving presentations to a panel of Costain directors on their experiences and what they would take away from the fortnight.