Students get a taste of life in construction

Case Study 7BALFOUR Beatty has been working with Aberdeen’s Northfield Academy to encourage pupils to consider career options in the construction industry.

Their combined efforts to make a difference to pupils’ lives were showcased to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell MSP.

Last year Balfour Beatty launched a work experience programme for Northfield Academy students. Eleven pupils spent time on local projects to gain an understanding of potential careers.

At the firm’s Aberdeen office, Mr Russell and the Chairman of Hub North Scotland joined pupils and staff to discover the achievements. Two pupils, Toni Cocker and Liam Davidson, shared their experiences of their time on the programme and explained how it has helped to shape their ambitions.

Michael Russell said, “Employers have a key role to play under Curriculum for Excellence in making learning more exciting and relevant, and ensuring successful outcomes for all pupils. Balfour Beatty and Northfield Academy committing to working together long term for the benefit of pupils, the company and the local community is an excellent example of this partnership working in action.”

Neil Hendry, Northfield Academy Headteacher, said, “Our interaction with the Minister and industry leaders has been thrilling. Engaging with people in senior positions will have helped to boost the confidence of our pupils.”

George Hood, Balfour Beatty Managing Director Northern Scotland, said, “We work at the heart of local communities and are committed to helping them develop. This event has demonstrated the partnership is working for the company, the school and wider community.”

LJMU Outreach Team & School of the Built Environment welcome Year 12 students

Case Study FourNearly fifty Year 12 students and their tutors were welcomed to the University recently for a built environment information and careers day. They attended information sessions withLJMU staff and students and were given the opportunity to get ‘hands on’ experience in a variety of activities such as tower building with pasta and testing the strength of building materials. School Director, Professor Mike Riley, said: “Events such as this give us a real opportunity to showcase the exciting opportunities for careers in the built environment to local schools and colleges.

“Those who choose to enter these careers have a real opportunity to have an influence on the sustainable development of our physical and natural environment. Engaging with them before they make final decisions about university applications and career choices allows us to gain an insight into the issues that they see as important as well as allowing us to provide them with enough information to make informed choices about their future. “

font-family: Arial;”>;”>The event was a collaboration between the School of the Built Environment and the LJMU Outreach Team, who promoted the event to their extensive network of contacts in local schools and colleges. The day will be followed up with sessions including – ‘Applying through UCAS and Personal Statements’ and ”Student Finance’. If you would like to work with the LJMU Outreach Team on your own event, email:

Engineering apprenticeships attract disadvantaged students

In London last September, 80% of new recruits were from disadvantaged backgrounds and 67% from minority ethnic groups.

Case Study OneThe apprenticeships scheme was initiated by the Technician Apprenticeship Consortium (TAC) in 2010 who later partnered with the Royal Engineering Academy (RAEng) to unlock and access pools of untapped engineering talent such as young women, people from minority ethnic and less advantaged backgrounds.

Philip Greenish, chief executive of the RAEng, said: “The UK needs more skilled engineers. The development and success of these apprenticeships will help meet increasing demand for qualified engineers by widening access to the profession while at the same time contributing to social mobility.

The Royal Engineering Academy has stated that over the past three years, the scheme has grown from eight to more than 400 apprentices, whilst the number of companies participating in the TAC has risen from six to 30. TAC now has a model of good practice which involves a network of further education colleges, employers and professional engineering institutions.

Currently there are two active Advanced Technician Apprenticeships, one in civil engineering and the other in building services engineering.  A third in transport planning engineering is currently in development.

The Academy said this is a formula that works and could be applied to more engineering fields – and beyond.