ISG recently hosted an event at its Ipswich office to encourage more school age girls to consider a career in construction.
The contractor invited 21 pupils from five local schools to explore the myths surrounding employment within the construction sector and to educate the attendees about the varied and fulfilling range of careers available within the industry.
The ‘Girls Allowed’ event was supported by Suffolk Education Business Partners and CSkills – the construction industry body tasked with improving skills, training and promoting the image of the sector- and is part of an active programme of initiatives that ISG runs across its national business to promote equality and diversity.
The participants, all aged between 13 and 14, were first given a talk by James Thomas at CSkills, who provided an insight into the wide variety of job roles that make up the construction industry, with a brief overview of the types of skills required, opportunities for career progression and remuneration levels.
Helen Clements, community engagement officer at ISG, then held a question and answer session with the students, where perceptions of the construction industry were explored and the participants were invited to guess the roles of a number of ISG’s female employees. The girls were then asked to think about their own skills, strengths and interests and match these to a list of construction job roles.
Following a guided tour of ISG’s facilities, to show the pupils the office–based side of the construction industry, Clements set a team challenge to design a recruitment advert that would appeal to both genders and all minority groups. Winners were selected from the teams and each received a prize of a week’s work experience at the Ipswich office.
Feedback from the event was extremely positive and the attendees were unanimous in their comments about how the session had really changed their minds about industry stereotypes and many expressed an interest in learning more about career opportunities.
ISG’s Bernard Clarke, managing director – South East, commented: “Encouraging talented youngsters to consider a career in construction is absolutely essential for the future health of this vital national industry. All too often, the sector is overlooked due to outdated and simply incorrect perceptions, so it’s great to host events like this to provide a fresh perspective for young people who might never have considered a career in construction.”
Pictured: Pupils, teachers and ISG staff at the ‘Girls Allowed’ construction event