At a recent enrichment day, over 120 year 8 students at Ernulf Academy were given an opportunity to explore career opportunities in construction through a series of fun and informative activities that included house and bridge building challenges.
EDGE, the jobs and skills partnership that provides tangible links between education and employment, brought together experts from master developer Urban&Civic, Morgan Sindall Construction and Breheny Civil Engineering to help inspire the students and address some misconceptions about the industry. In the morning, a team from Morgan Sindall Construction set a housebuilding challenge that was judged on a number of criteria including cost, sustainability and design innovation. The children were divided into groups and asked to adopt job roles based on their skills and interests. They then had to measure the box they were given, review materials available and work out costs before ‘buying them’ and applying them to their building.
In the afternoon, the children moved around four different activities. As well as a bridge building exercise with Breheny and a careers talk from Morgan Sindall Construction, they also had an opportunity to consider all the different aspects that go into designing a school using magnetic whiteboards.
Urban&Civic completed the afternoon’s round robin by providing a myth buster exercise, where the children were asked to consider myths about the construction industry and find the corresponding ‘busters’. Torie Denny-Morley, skills lead for Urban&Civic, said: “There was a real buzz about the enrichment day. The students embraced the experience and it was great to be able to explain the career opportunities available in the construction industry in a fun but informative way.
“With so many exciting development projects taking place or planned in the area over the next 15-20 years - not just at Urban&Civic’s strategic sites at Wintringham, Alconbury Weald and Waterbeach barracks but across the whole region - there are lots of career opportunities for year 8 students to consider when they come to consider their GCSE options.”
Ernulf Academy’s enrichment days introduce students to new experiences and provide opportunities for them to work together to challenge perceptions, learn new skills and broaden their interests. Brogan Webber from Ernulf Academy said: “Our year 8 students really enjoyed the construction-themed enrichment day, and many were surprised by the range of jobs, salaries and career opportunities available in the industry.”