Last week we hosted another successful virtual schools work experience.
During the week of 2 to 6 August, students from across the UK joined our virtual work experience to learn about careers in construction. They met a range of people from across the industry, and took part in virtual quizzes and group activities. I supported CSR manager Kimberley McGinty with the delivery of the programme.
The students who took part in this week were mainly from Birmingham, London and Kent. The students said that they enjoyed meeting and working alongside students from these different areas.
Most of the students had not been to the other areas before so they found it interesting to speak with students with different backgrounds.
A wide range of speakers
People from various divisions of the business joined us, including health and safety, IT, Labour Solutions, Personnel and Projects. External speakers from some of our client projects also gave their time to talk to the students.
Our speakers highlighted their roles and their contribution to various construction projects. The students were very involved and engaged and asked loads of questions.
They told the students about the different career paths they had taken that helped them get to where they are today.
The routes taken included:
- going to university
- completing apprenticeships
- working straight from school and learning as they go.
The students carried out group tasks. These ranged from thinking about sustainability and social responsibility when putting together a project, to taking a dummy CSCS test.
At the end of the week, the students delivered presentations about what they learned during the programme.
It was great to be a part of another virtual school work placement. On one of the days I ran an employability skills morning. I was joined by senior recruitment consultant Heena Chatrath and recruitment consultant Daniel Templeton from our Personnel division. We covered the process of interviews, giving pointers on what to expect and how best to prepare for an interview. Following this we had interactive tasks about CVs, discussing how to make them stand out from others when applying for roles.
I also spoke to the students about different university and apprenticeship routes. I told them about my year-long work placement with VGC as part of my degree, and how this has helped me to get where I am today.
For safeguarding reasons, the students kept their cameras off during the week. They said they enjoyed working with the other students virtually in groups to produce the activities throughout the week and their final presentations on the last day.
We have received excellent feedback from the students about how useful this programme has been.
They were surprised by how many different roles there are and how they all contribute to projects in very different ways. Some of the students who were unsure about what career path they wanted to take at the start of the week, told us that by the end of the week they were more informed about their options.
The week improved my teamwork skills, and boosted my confidence.
The employability morning was very useful and will help when applying for roles in the future.
Photograph of speakers
- Top row (L to R): social value manager Megan Prigmore, IT consultant Patrick Alexander, chief operating officer Ciara Pryce, trainee civil engineer Kayla Browne
- Second row: project engineer Jack Davies, senior recruitment consultant Heena Chatrath, recruitment consultant Daniel Templeton, customer success manager Ciaran Alstowe
- Bottom row: head of HSQE Richard Wheeler, labour manager Mitch Turbitt, CSR manager Kimberley McGinty, business support lead Rebecca Parfitt.
- We were also joined by Joss Fitzsimmons and Lilia Frunzo from Align JV.
Our next virtual work experience week will be in October.
Students from across the UK are invited to take part in a series of interesting and engaging sessions. If you know someone aged 14 – 17 who might enjoy the experience, please ask them to talk to their school for help to apply to Speakers for Schools. If they have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about VGC’s work with schools and young people.