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ConstructionSkills Coaching Scheme for professionals launched

Posted: 29th November 2006

The new Constructionskills Coaching scheme which is being piloted by CIC got off to a flying start this week with the staging of both an Introductory training session and the Ice Breaker event at the pilot school where Built Environment professionals were introduced to the pupils who they will be coaching over the next few months.

This new volunteering programme aims to increase recruitment of school leavers into the professional disciplines. It gives children the chance to find out about the wide range of careers available directly from respected local Built Environment professionals in the South East. Pupils will be able to learn about what the roles involve and what projects the professionals are currently working on as well as taking part in a number of external visits and practical activities aimed at promoting interest in the industry.

With assistance from East London Business Alliance (a business-led regeneration agency), the pilot is being run in conjunction with Eastlea Community School in Newham, one of London’s Olympic Boroughs. Professionals from a wide range of companies have offered to take part in this pilot including Bovis Lend Lease, Child Graddon Lewis, Conisbee, Costain, CTRL, Devereux Architects, Rok and Willmott Dixon. They cover all manner of different professional disciplines including architecture, engineering, architectural technology, estimating and project management and are situated across the South East region.
All coaches were invited to attend an Introductory training session on 7 November at the CIC offices. This training aimed to provide the coaches with a background to the area and the school they would be working with as well as giving them some examples of possible activities which they could undertake with the pupils and the opportunity to design an activity themselves.

Coaches were then introduced to the pupils they had been matched with at the Ice Breaker event which was held the following day at Eastlea School itself. All pupils are in Year 9 at school (13-14 years of age) and have volunteered for the programme following presentations about the scheme in their school assembly and at a recent Parents Evening. Each coach was matched with 2-3 pupils who showed their coach around their school grounds.

All groups were then given a practical activity to work on together with their coaches to ensure that both coaches and pupils felt at ease prior to the next coaching session when coaches will be able to create their own activity. Groups were asked to try their hand at the Taylor Woodrow Tower Building activity which is used by the ConstructionSkills Education teams. Teams were required to work together to design and construct a tower which gained optimum profits based on its final height, the time taken to construct it and the quantity of materials used.

Coaches will meet with pupils once each month until Easter 2007 to explain what their role involves.