students at the workshop
Kimberley delivering a workshop at Northwood School in Ruislip

VGC’s schools engagement programme promotes the career opportunities within the construction industry, and helps to equip young people with the skills they need for the world of work.

The programme adheres to four of the eight Gatsby benchmarks – a framework of guidelines for careers provision in schools and colleges.

Our CSR manager Kimberley McGinty, supported by various volunteer members of staff, runs regular workshops in schools. These help our clients to meet their legacy targets and inform students about working in engineering. Kimberley also attends careers fairs, parents’ events, speed networking and supporting programmes for young people not in education or employment (NEET).

Kimberley doing a mock interview with a student
Kimberley took part in a mock interview day for students at Ernest Bevin College.

VGC’s women in construction programme encourages girls to see beyond the stereotypes and recognise the wide range of opportunities for women in our industry. “I sometimes spend a fair amount of time persuading their parents about the variety of options available,” said Kimberley. “They may need convincing that you most certainly can be a successful woman in construction – look at me!”

Kimberley became a trained Team London enterprise adviser in December 2017. The role is to support schools who want to develop careers training for their students, and complements the work VGC does with local schools. In September 2018 Kimberley was unanimously selected as one of only two advisers invited to represent London on the nationwide Enterprise Adviser Advisory Group.

As well as schools visits, we offer work experience for school pupils, and summer placements for university students. By the end of 2019, 600 NEET (young people not in employment, education or training) and 4,385 school pupils had attended construction careers workshops and events.

“Thank you so very much for the wonderful support you gave to the Year 10 mock interviews at Ernest Bevin College. The students responded really positively to you and I have heard lots of ‘Miss Kimberley said’ since.
“These students need as much guidance and motivation as we can offer and your generosity with your time is of incalculable value…. Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The school had never done an event like this before and I think they are a bit stunned by how well it worked.”
Mary Cunningham, schools adviser, Department for Work and Pensions
One of the presenters at the EPIC presentation
After Kimberley delivered an employers’ sector talk as part of the Mayor’s Fund for London EPIC, Serious About Youth (SAY) invited her to two ‘Dragons’ Den’ exercises to support and encourage young people not in education or training.

Since COVID, we have moved our programmes online, including working with over 200 young people on a series of virtual work experience opportunities.

See the links on the right to read more about our work to support people to join our industry, including apprenticeships, internships and our graduate programme.

Read Kimberley’s blog about giving young people an insight into the construction industry.

If you are interested in finding out more about our careers support, please contact Kimberley.